The Royal Australian Navy's first Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship, NUSHIP Canberra (LHD 02) has successfully completed its vehicle load trial in Australia.
During the trial, conducted by the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) on schedule, the Army vehicles have driven onto the NUSHIP Canberra ship and manoeuvred within the vehicle decks of the ship.
The Australian Army had provided several vehicles including a tank, armoured personnel carrier and light vehicles for use on the LHDs.
DMO project trial director Lieutenant Colonel West said planning and execution of trial event was successful and demonstrated exceptional coordination between ship staff, DMO, army, BAE Systems and the platform designer Navantia.
"The coming months will see the conduct of critical harbour and sea trials in preparation for the delivery of the ship to defence," West said.
Designed to provide most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious capability for the Australian Navy, the two 27,000t Canberra-class LHDs can accommodate force of over 2,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.
NUSHIP Canberra engineer officer, commander David Walter said that the Canberra personnel got a good learning opportunity with both the cold move activity and the vehicle load trial.
"A range of Canberra personnel including personnel from the Amphibious, Executive and Engineering departments observed both the 'cold move' activity and the vehicle load trial, which was excellent training value in terms of becoming familiar with the platform in a real time activity," Walter said.
NUSHIP Canberra is scheduled to begin sea acceptance tests later this year.
NUSHIP Canberra commanding officer, captain Jonathan Sadleir said: "We have over 300 ship's company who have now joined the ship and are undertaking a variety of training and preparedness activities ready to embark and operate the ship next year."
NUSHIP Canberra is due to commission in the first quarter of next year while second LHD, Adelaide (LHD 01), is expected to commission in 2015.
Image: Mack heavy recovery vehicle embarks NUSHIP Canberra. Photo: courtesy of Royal Australian Navy.