Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded a construction contract to Pacific Services Group in support of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Canberra-class amphibious landing helicopter dock (LHD) 12 landing craft.

The two 27,000t LHDs HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide are being built by BAE Systems-led team including Navantia, Saab and L3 under a $3bn project. The LHDs are set to be the largest vessels ever built for RAN.

Serving as head contractor under the $6m contract, Pacific Services will be responsible for the refurbishment of existing marine infrastructure and buildings at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney in preparation for the LHD 12 Landing Craft.

Work under the contract is due to commence this month, with completion scheduled for early 2015.

"The LHDs are set to be the largest vessels ever built for RAN."

The LHD 12 landing craft will serve as critical ship-to-shore connectors and would turn out to be essential to the Australian Defence Force’s amphibious capability once commissioned into RAN service.

The two 27,000t LHDs are powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system integrating LM 2500 gas turbine and two MAN 16V32/40 diesel generators, in addition to two Siemens azimuth thrusters and two bow thrusters.

Capable of accommodating up to 1,400 personnel including 400 ship’s company and 1,000 embarked troops, the new LHDs will assist in transporting military equipment and aviation units, as well as support humanitarian missions.

Commissioning of HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide are scheduled for late-2014 and June 2015 respectively.

Earlier this month, HMAS Canberra reportedly suffered damage during trial cruise, with its hull dented and circuit breakers melted.

Image: HMAS Canberra is expected to be delivered to the RAN by late-2014. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.

Defence Technology