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Royal Australian Navy Weapons

This page is a listing of weapons used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), from its inception in 1911 until about 1960 (with a few later entries). Also included are details of some of the weapons used by the RAN's predecessor, the Commonwealth Naval Forces from 1901 to 1911.

The listing is incomplete, and may contain errors and duplications. It is therefore a "work in progress". It has been drawn from various sources, including:

Where relevant, each entry is linked to a descriptive page on the NAVWEAPS website, a valuable compendium of information about naval weapons that includes many photographs.

For information about how guns were used, see The Gunnery Pocket Book (B.R. 224/45). This was published in 1945 and reflects World War 2 practices.

Corrections and additions are welcome - please email me at the address shown at the foot of the page.

Gunnery layout of a destroyer

Muzzle Loading Rifled Guns

Ordnance Mounting Used By
Gun, MLR, 10-inch Cerberus

Breech Loading Guns

Ordnance Mounting Used By
Gun, BL, 12-inch, Mk X B Mk VIII Twin Turret Australia I
Gun, BL, 8-inch Gayundah, Queensland
Gun, BL, 8-inch, Mk VIII* Twin turret Australia II, Canberra, Shropshire
Gun, BL, 6-inch, 5-tons South Australia
Gun, BL, 6-inch, 4-tons Paluma, Protector, Queensland, Victoria
Gun, BL, 6-inch, Mk VII Pedestal II Encounter
Gun, BL, 6-inch, Mk XI* Pedestal Sydney I, Melbourne I, Brisbane I
Gun, BL, 6-inch, Mk XIII Pedestal Adelaide I
Gun, BL, 6-inch, Mk XXIII Twin Turret, MkXXI Sydney II, Hobart I, Perth I
Gun, BL, 5-inch, Mk III Vavasseur Central Pivot Paluma
Gun, BL, 4.7-inch, Mk I Central Pivot Stuart I
Gun, BL, 4-inch, Mk VII Pedestal Australia I
Gun, BL, 4-inch, Mk VIII River-class torpedo boat destroyers
Gun, BL, 4-inch, Mk IX* Central Pivot Early Bathurst-class Minesweepers (Corvettes)
Gun, BL, 12.5-pdr Victoria
Gun, BL, 12-pdr Queensland
Gun, BL, 9-pdr Victoria

Quick Firing Guns

Ordnance Mounting Used By
Gun, 5-inch/54 caliber, Mk 18 Turret, Mk 42 Guided Missile Destroyers DDG (Charles F. Adams Class)
Gun, 5-inch/54 caliber, Mk 19 Turret, Mk 45 Frigate Helicopter FFH (Anzac Class)
Gun, QF, 4.7-inch, Mk II Pedestal Gayundah, Paluma
Gun, QF, 4.7-inch, Mk IV, RGF 1901 manufacture Queensland
Gun, QF, 4.7-inch, Mk IX Central Pivot XVIII Q Class destroyers
Gun, QF, 4.7-inch, Mk XII Central Pivot Mk XIX (Twin) N Class, Tribal destroyers
Gun, QF, 4.7-inch, Mk VIII High Angle Mk XII Albatross
Gun, QF, 4.5-inch, Mk V RP 41 Mk VI (Twin) Modified Battle, Daring, and River classes
Gun, QF, 4-inch, Mk III Pedestal Pioneer, Psyche, Fantome
Gun, QF, 4-inch, Mk IV Central Pivot, Pedestal Mk X S Class, Doomba, Auxiliaries
Gun, QF, 4-inch, Mk V Central Pivot, High Angle V & W Class, Swan II, Yarra II, Canberra, Sydney II
Gun, QF, 4-inch, Mk XVI, XVI* Central Pivot Mks XIX, XX Tribal class, cruisers, sloops, AA frigates
Gun, QF, 4-inch, Mk XIX Central Pivot Mk XXIII, HA/LA Mk XXIII* Bathurst-class minesweepers (corvettes)
Gun, QF, 4-inch, Mk XXIII*
Gun, 76mm/62 calibre, Mk 75 Turret, Mk 75 Guided Missile Frigate FFG (Adelaide Class)
Gun, QF, 3-inch, 20-cwt High Angle Mks II-V Stuart
Gun, QF, 12-pdr, 8-cwt Field Mounting
Gun, QF, 12-pdr, Mks IA, IIA Low Angle
Gun, QF, 3-inch, Mk 21 Mod 0 Mk 22 Mod 0 Reserve, Sprightly
Gun, QF, 6-pdr, Nordenfelt Cerberus, Queensland, Victoria
Gun, QF, 12-pdr, 12-cwt High Angle Mk III V & W Class destroyers,Paluma, Auxiliaries
Gun, QF, 6-pdr, 8-cwt Pedestal Mallow
Gun, QF, 3-pdr, 5-cwt, Hotchkiss, Mk I Pedestal Protector, most ships except destroyers to 1939

Close Range Weapons

Gun Mounting Used By
Machine Gun, 0.303-inch, Vickers Widely used World War 2
Machine Gun, 0.303-inch, Lewis Single, Twin Widely used World War 2
Machine Gun, 0.303-inch, Vickers - Berthier ML, HDML
Machine Gun, 0.303-inch, Bren Mks I, II
Machine Gun, 0.303-inch, Maxim Gayundah, Queensland
Machine Gun, 0.303-inch, Hotchkiss, Mks I, I*
Machine Gun, 0.45-inch, 5-barrel Paluma, Queensland, New South Wales
Machine Gun, 0.45-inch, Maxim
Machine Gun, 0.45-inch, Gatling Queensland, South Australia
Machine Gun, 0.5-inch, Vickers Quadruple Widely used World War 2
Machine Gun, 0.5-inch, Browning Widely used
Machine Gun, 20-mm, Oerlikon, Mks I, II Single, Twin Widely used World War 2
Gun, QF, 1-pdr Childers
Machine Gun, 1-inch, 4-barrel, Nordenfelt, Mk III Cerberus, Paluma, Victoria, Queensland
Machine Gun, 1-inch, 2-barrel, Nordenfelt, Mk I Gayundah, Midge, Countess of Hopetoun, Gordon, Victoria
Machine Gun, 1.5-inch, Nordenfelt Gayundah, Queensland, New South Wales
Gun, 37-mm, Hotchkiss Pedestal Victoria
Gun, QF, 40-mm, 2-pdr, Mk XIV Pedestal ML
Gun, QF, 40-mm, Bofors Mks I, I*, C Mk I, C Mk I*, III, IV, IV/I, VI, 11 Mk III, IIIA, IIIP, IV (Hazemeyer), VII, NI, C Mk NI, M.1 (USN), STAAG Mk 2*, STAAG Mk 3, Mk 4*, RP 50 Mk 5, Boffin, AN various mods, Widely used World War 2. Mk 1*, AN variants manufactured in Australia. AN mounting was a Mk VII powered by a low pressure oil/hydraulic system. C prefix signifies Canadian manufacture. Mk IV mounting installed on HMAS Hobart. The "Boffin" was a single Bofors 40mm gun mounted upon the twin-20mm Oerlikon hydraulically powered mount.
Gun, 2-pdr, Pom-pom Mk VIII Single, Quadruple Widely used World War 2

Aircraft Weapons

Weapon Aircraft Used By
Projectile, Rocket, 3-inch De Havilland Sea Venom F.A.W. MK 53, Hawker Sea Fury Mark 11, Fairey Firefly AS.5/AS.6, Fairey Gannet AS1/4 Melbourne II
Rocket, Aircraft, 5-inch Folding-Fin McDonnell Douglas A4G Skyhawk, Grumman S-2E/G Tracker Melbourne II
Rocket, Aircraft, 2.75-inch Folding-Fin McDonnell Douglas A4G Skyhawk, Grumman S-2E/G Tracker Melbourne II
Gun, 20mm, Aircraft, Hispano-Suiza Mk II Fairey Firefly AS.5 Sydney III, Vengeance
Gun, 20mm, Aircraft, Hispano-Suiza Mk V De Havilland Sea Venom F.A.W. MK 53, Hawker Sea Fury Mark 11 Melbourne II, Sydney III, Vengeance
Gun, 20mm, Aircraft, Mark 12 McDonnell Douglas A4G Skyhawk Melbourne II

Torpedoes

Torpedo Tube/Dropping Gear Used By
Torpedo, 14-inch, Schwartzkopf New South Wales
Torpedo, 14-inch, Fiume, Mks IV, V Victoria, South Australia
Torpedo, 14-inch, RGF, Mks IX, X Victoria
Torpedo, 14-inch, RL, Mks II, III, VI Victoria, Queensland
Torpedo, 18-inch, Mks VII/VII****
Torpedo, 18-inch, Mk 30 Aircraft launched Melbourne II, Sydney III
Torpedo, 21-inch, Mk 9 Destroyers, T Class submarines (1)
Torpedo, 21-inch, Mk 8 Mod 4 Oberon Class submarines
Torpedo, 21-inch Mk 20 T Class submarines
Torpedo, 21-inch Mk 23 Oberon Class submarines

Anti-submarine Weapons

Weapon Mounting Used By
Depth Charge Mks D*, D**
Depth Charge Mk III
Depth Charge Mk VII Thrower, Depth Charge, Mks II, IV
Depth Charge Mk VIII
Depth Charge Mks XI, XI*CC
Depth Charge, Midget, "M" Type "B" Widely used by harbour patrol craft during World War 2
Mortar, Anti-submarine, "Hedgehog"
Mortar, Anti-submarine, Mk 3 "Squid"
Mortar, Anti-submarine, Mk 10 "Limbo"

Mines

Mine Notes
Mine, Contact, Type "H" In use from 1920
Mine, Contact, Mk XIV Manufactured in Australia
Mine, Contact, Mk XVII
Mine, Loop, Type "L", Mk 3
Mine, Aircraft Launched, Type "A", Mks 1-5,7 Used by RAAF but RAN involved with maintenance and disposal

Miscellaneous Weapons

Weapon Mounting Used By
Projector AAD (PAC), Type D Some defensively equipped merchant ships
Projector, 2-inch Rocket Flare Widely Used
Projector, Holman Some defensively equipped merchant ships
Mortar, 81-mm Attack & Fremantle-class patrol boats

RAN Inventory during World War 2

The following is a list of ordnance known to have been in the RAN inventory during World War 2. However some items on this list may have been held on behalf of other services, such as the Royal Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy. Others may be seized enemy weapons.

Ordnance Breech Loading

Ordnance Quick Firing

Machine Guns

Aircraft Guns

Ordnance Muzzle Loading

Miscellaneous Ordnance

US/USN Origin Ordnance

(Source: AWM78 454/1 ASO [Armament Supply Officer] Royal Australian Naval Armament Depot, Spectacle Island, Sydney: War diary)

Further Information

Information about the production of naval weapons in Australia can be found in the official histories of World Wars 1 and 2. These documents can be downloaded from the Australian War Memorial website.

Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 - Volume XI – Australia During the War:

Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 4 – Civil - Volume V – The Role of Science and Industry:

Notes

1. T Class Submarines - not used by the RAN but by the Royal Navy's 4th Submarine Flotilla which was based in Sydney from 1949 until 1969, and supported by the RAN Torpedo Establishment.

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Robert Curran
borclaud @ tpg.com.au