Navantia has launched, at the Ferrol facilities, the first amphibious ship for the Royal Australian Navy in the presence of the ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Vickie Coates. The Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Russell Crane, was also present, along with representatives of the Commonwealth, BAE Systems and Navantia, including the new CEO of Navantia, Luis Cacho Quesada.

This ship, launched two months early, was started with the steel cutting ceremony on the 23 September 2008, followed by the laying of the keel 12 months later on 23 September 2009. This early launch provides additional time to complete outfitting and testing through to the summer of 2012, when the hull will be transported to Australia for completion and delivery by BAE Systems Australia in Williamstown.

These two amphibious ships were contracted on 23 November 2007 in Melbourne and will be delivered in 2014 and 2015.

The design of the Australians LHDs is based on the ‘Juan Carlos I’, commissioned to the Spanish Navy last year.