The Royal Australian Navy’s second and last amphibious ship’s hull has departed from Vigo in northern Spain.
Built at the Navantia Ferrol shipyard in Spain, the landing helicopter dock (LHD) hull will be transported to Melbourne, Australia, by the heavy-lift ship, Blue Marlin, according to Defence Minister Senator David Johnston.
The LHDs are expected to be over 230m long, 27.5m high and weigh around 27,500t, when completed.
Senator Johnston said the Canberra Class LHDs will provide the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated amphibious deployment capabilities in the world.
"This project was started by the Howard government by the then Defence Minister Robert Hill and will produce a ship bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne," Johnston said.
"The departure of LHD02 (to be know as HMAS Adelaide) from Vigo en route for Australia marks another major milestone for the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the prime contractor BAE Systems.
"On arrival in Australian waters, the ship will transit to Melbourne and then on to the Williamstown dockyard for consolidation of the superstructure and installation of the combat, communications and navigation systems by local shipbuilders BAE Systems."
Johnston also noted that each ship is able of carrying a combined arms battle group of around 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and features a 40-bed hospital.