NUSHIP Canberra, the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) first Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship, has set sail to Sydney from BAE Systems' dockyard at Williamstown, Australia, for its first period of sea trials.
Prior to acceptance by the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) later this year, the vessel will undergo a series of trials to validate its systems and equipment under a number of scenarios.
BAE Systems Maritime director Bill Saltzer said that the ship will undergo a series of tests, including platform tests and testing of the ship's combat and communication systems.
"We will undertake approximately 240 hours over 16 days of testing on the ship and to ensure all systems perform to their capability," Saltzer added.
"Some of the trials will run concurrently and cover everything from basic systems operations such as alarms, to the ship's manoeuvrability while at sea.
"We will be testing things like how fast the ship can go and how long it takes to stop. We will also be looking at how much fuel the ship will use at different speeds and what its manoeuvrability will be in terms of speed during different swell and sea conditions."
Upon completion of sea trials, NUSHIP Canberra will begin the final testing of communication and combat systems.
Meanwhile, preparation works for the consolidation of the superstructure for the second LHD, NUSHIP Adelaide, are well underway.
"We are currently preparing for the heavy lift of the superstructure blocks which we expect to have in place by the end of March," Saltzer said.
The BAE-led team for the RAN's LHD ship programme includes Navantia, Saab and L3.
Image: NUSHIP Canberra begins sea trials. Photo courtesy of BAE Systems.