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Operation MANITOU

Contributing to stable, rules-based global security is one of Australia's national objectives. Since 1990, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has conducted maritime security operations in the Middle East Region, which remains strategically important to Australia's economic and trade interests.

Operation MANITOU is the current name for the Australian Government's contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region (MER). An enhanced security environment ensures Australia's safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.

Operation MANITOU is under command of Joint Task Force 633 (JTF633), which is the Australian National HQ in the Middle East Region. The Royal Australian Navy routinely sends a Major Fleet Unit (MFU) to the MER for assignment to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

Combined Maritime Forces is composed of thirty one nations and has three principle task forces:

  • Combined Task Force 150, which conducts counter-terrorism and maritime security operations;
  • Combined Task Force 151, which conducts counter piracy operations;
  • Combined Task Force 152, which conducts Arabian Gulf maritime security operations.

The Australian Defence Organisation also provides a small staff that is permanently embedded within the Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters. This team, which presently comprises eight Royal Australian Navy personnel and one DSTG scientist, also undertakes the role of the Maritime Operations Support Group. The Royal Australian Navy also provides an International Liaison Officer for the UK Maritime Trade Operations Office and continues to deploy a major fleet unit (MFU) on a four-month rotation within the Middle East Region.

The RAN MFU currently deployed is HMAS Perth (III). This is the 63rd rotation of an RAN vessel to the MER since 1990.


HMAS Perth (III) is the first of the Anzac Class frigates to undergo the Anti-Ship Missile Defence Upgrade and is the first ASMD upgraded warship to deploy to the Middle East Region.

Based on the success of this extensive upgrade, the remaining ships of the class are being progressively upgraded with the enhanced weapon and sensor systems fit.

The ship was recently upgraded to embark the new multi-role MH-60R 'Romeo' Seahawk helicopter which provides enhanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities.

Embarkation of the helicopter also provides the ship with the capability to deliver air-launched anti-submarine torpedoes and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles.

The name Perth carries with it the proud histories of two former RAN warships.

Around 190 officers and sailors of Perth (III) look forward to building on the excellent reputations earned by their two previous namesakes.

The previous ship assigned to Operation MANITOU was HMAS Darwin.

From Navy website.