HMAS Canberra

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) HMAS Canberra has conducted its first Replenishment at Sea evolution.

Carried out in company with HMAS Sirius as a part of Fleet Concentration Period East 15 (FCP East 15), the refuelling evolution was completed as the ships sailed within 60m of each other, while maintaining their focus on warfare activities.

Chief Petty Officer Shand said: "This is not an easy task and it requires close communication with the navigation team, who are sailing the ship.

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"This is what we train for and it is great to be able to finally put it into.

"This is not an easy task and it requires close communication with the navigation team, who are sailing the ship."

The list of vessels who have completed task group training during FCP East 15 includes 12 ships and submarines, and three navy aviation squadrons.

The exercise seeks to assist in developing a fleet that is capable of multiple ship, task group level joint expeditionary operations.

The 230m-long Canberra-class LHDs, the largest ships ever built for the RAN, are capable of carrying more than 1,100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles, and 12 helicopters.

The vessel will feature four 20mm automated guns, six 12.7mm machine guns, an anti-torpedo towed defence system, and a Nulka active missile decoy system.

The RAN received the first of two LHD vessels, HMAS Canberra, in October last year. It was commissioned in November 2014.

Adelaide, Canberra’s sister ship, recently completed second and final sea trials in Port Phillip Bay.

Final operational capability for the Canberra-class is expected to be announced in late 2017.

Image: HMAS Sirius alongside HMAS Canberra during a replenishment at sea evolution as part of the Fleet Concentration Period East 2015. Photo: courtesy of ABIS Chantell Brown / Royal Australian Navy.