Navantia vessel

The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has taken delivery of the second group of four LHD landing crafts (LLCs) from Navantia at HMAS Waterhen base, Sydney, Australia.

Delivery of the initial four units took place in May 2014.

Being built as part of a contract signed in September 2011, the vessels, together with the last four units to be delivered later this year, will be commissioned to the DMO and used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The LLCs will be used on the RAN’s Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ships, the Canberra and Adelaide, which are being constructed by Navantia.

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Based on vessels designed for the Spanish Navy between 2006 and 2008, the new 23.30m-long LLCs are powered by two MAN 809kW engines and two waterjet propellers.

"The RAN will use the crafts to transport troops and equipment."

At 6.40m wide and 2.80m deep, they provide a maximum cruising speed of more than 20k and a 190nm range.

The RAN will use the crafts to transport troops and equipment, including Abrams and other army vehicles, as well as a fusiliers company or 20ft container truck where no port facilities exist.

Built in cooperation with BAE Systems, the 27,000t, 23.30m-long LHD is integrated with radar navigation and a global positioning system, as well as gyro needle / magnetic and HF communications equipment, including VHF and UHF.

Canberra-class LHDs are armed with 6mm x 12.7mm machine guns, a Nulka active-missile decoy system, anti-torpedo towed defence system and four 20mm automated guns.

Image: Navantia’s LHD landing craft. Photo: courtesy of Navantia.