Navantia has recently started the construction of the second of two LHDs for the Australian Navy, which will be named Adelaide, by cutting the first steel.

The cut of steel started on 2 February 2010 in the facilities of Fene, where the workers got a 3.5 tones piece, belonging to deck number 6 of the ship. This milestone was first scheduled for 23 March, but the Fene-Ferrol shipyard has managed to start it seven weeks ahead schedule.

This contract was signed in October 2007 in Melbourne and includes the design and construction of two LHDs as well as the engines and the integrated platform control system. Navantia and the Australian shipbuilder, BAE Systems Australia Defense, will take on the building work of both ships, with the tasks being shared approximately 80%-20% respectively.

The LHDs are multipurpose ships, capable of developing different missions, not only in the military sector but also for the purpose of humanitarian aid to the civil population. Their design is based in the LHD Juan Carlos I, currently under construction for the Spanish Navy, and was selected over an offer by French company Armaris because it completely fitted the Royal Australian Navy’s requirements.

Main characteristics of the ships:

  • Length overall: 230.82m
  • Maximum breath: 32m
  • Height to flight deck: 27.5m
  • Design draught: 7.18m
  • Speed at full load: 20.5 knots
  • Range: more than 6,000nm
  • Crew: 243 people (+ 36 additional)
  • Embarked forces: 978 people (+146 additional)

Worth noting about the ships’ cargo capacity is that it has a 990m² hangar, a 1,165m² dock, a 4,750m² flight deck and 3,290m² of garage space.