The Royal Australian Navy’s landing platform amphibious ship, HMAS Manoora, will be decommissioned by the end of next year, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare have announced.

The 40-year old Kanimbla Class HMAS Manoora was placed on operational pause by the Seaworthiness Board in September 2010.

“Because of the decommissioning of the Manoora and the age of our other amphibious ships, I have asked defence to present a new comprehensive plan for the transition towards the new LHDs,” they added.

HMAS Manoora and two other amphibious support ships, HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Tobruk, will be replaced by two Canberra Class LHDs.

The 230m-long LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier and can carry a battlegroup of 1,000-plus personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters.

The first LHD being constructed at the Williamstown Shipyard is expected to become operational in 2014 and the second in the following year.

The new transition plan could include the lease or purchase of ships such as a Bay Class ship from the UK that would provide a platform to train and prepare for the LHD.