Destroyer: HMAS Vampire



HMAS Vampire, Australia's largest museum vessel, is the last of the country's big gun ships.

After this, Australia's fighting ships were equipped with missile weaponry. The Daring class were the largest destroyers built in Australia. Their strong, light construction combined high speed with maximum armament.

Vampire served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1959 to 1986. Its arsenal included:

  • 3 twin turrets housing 6 x 4.5-inch guns (still in place)
  • 2 single-gun and 2 twin-gun Bofors anti-aircraft guns (still in place)
  • 5 anti-ship torpedo launchers (removed in 1970)
  • surface to subsurface anti-submarine mortar (removed in 1980)

Despite its firepower,Vampire had a peaceful career, even while escorting troops to Vietnam in the 1960s. In 1977, Vampire had a brush with royalty as the RAN escort for HMY Britannia during the Queen's Silver Jubilee tour of Australia. In 1980, it was refitted as a RAN training ship.

Explore the danger and drama of life on board Vampire in Action Stations, our immersive navy experience.

"There are retired naval personnel to show you around and answer questions, so it is a great place to learn about Australia's history on the water."

Visitor Dawn - via TripAdvisor (November 2018)




Vampire is a Daring Class Destroyer

Keel laid 1952, launched 1956; Commissioned 1959; Decommissioned 1986; Lent by the Department of Defence (1990–1997), transferred to the National Maritime Museum 1997


118.65 (389 ft)


3,888 tonnes (full load)


5,612 km (3,030 nautical miles) at 20 knots


13.11 m (43 ft)


5.49 m (18 ft)


5,612 km (3,030 nautical miles) at 20 knots

Original complement

245 sailors, 29 officers

Original armament

Three twin 4.5 inch Mark 6 gun mountings; two single 40/60mm Bofors Mark 9 AA guns; two twin 40/60mm Bofors Mark 5 AA guns (removed 1980, reinstalled 1994); one triple-barrelled Mark 10 anti-submarine mortar (removed 1980); one quintuple 21-inch Mark 4 torpedo tube mounting (removed 1970)

Call sign

Originally VJZC; VKMC from 1980s


D11; reduced to 11 in 1969


Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, NSW


Two Foster Wheeler three drum super-heated boilers; two English Electric Company geared steam turbines, generating 40,284 kW (54,000 hp); twin screws and rudders


30.5 knots maximum (56.5 km/h)



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