The newly-built landing helicopter dock (LHD) HMAS Canberra, built by Navantia, has been handed over to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) by the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).

This afloat vessel is the biggest naval vessel the RAN has, followed by a second LHD that will be finished and delivered to the RAN in 2015. This vessel has been acquired to aid with operational support for the ADF when on defence-related missions and humanitarian missions.

This significant milestone saw the presence of Spanish representatives attend, including the Executive Chairman of Navantia, Mr Jose Manuel Revuelta, who highlighted the importance of this milestone, as a key element of Navantia’s engagement with the Australian defence industries and organisations. This occasion paves the way for great relationships between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Navantia now and into the future.

The commissioning, which took place in Sydney, also had the presence of the Spanish Secretary of Defence, Mr. Pedro Arguelles, the Chief of the Spanish Navy, Mr Jaime Muñoz Delgado and the Spanish Ambassador to Australia, Mr Enrique Viguera. This event was presided by the General Governor of Australia, his Excellency General the Honourable Peter Cosgrove and the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot.

HMAS Canberra was 85% built in Spain by Navantia and finished in Australia by BAE Systems

Navantia was responsible for the construction of the hull, including the installation and integration of all the systems on board in the hull up to the fly deck. This collaboration between Spain and Australia has been a significant step forward to allow the Australian shipbuilding industry to strengthen.