The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) second landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship, Nuship Adelaide, has commenced its final period of sea trials, marking the last stages of preparation prior to its delivery later this year.

The trials, which are expected to last for ten days, will see testing of the ship’s combat and communications systems in different scenarios to assess the systems’ capabilities.

BAE Systems maritime director Bill Saltzer said: "We have integrated the many systems that have brought the ships to life and which will be vital during their service to the navy, both for defence of Australia, as well as for providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

"Of course as the prime contractor for the in-service support of both LHDs, our connection with, and commitment to, these amazing vessels will continue long beyond the delivery of Nuship Adelaide."

BAE Systems said the vessel will be ready for delivery when it returns from sea trials, which are expected to take place next month.

"These amazing vessels will continue long beyond the delivery of Nuship Adelaide."

The 27,000t warships are claimed to be the largest vessels ever built for the RAN. The vessels offer a maximum cruise speed of more than 20k and a 9,000nm range.

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Capable of carrying 1,000 crew members, the 757ft-long LHD vessels can also accommodate helicopters and water craft, together with their weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and stores.

The RAN received the first of two LHD vessels, Nuship Canberra, in October last year.

Both vessels are capable of being deployed for large-scale humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

Image: RAN crew members and BAE Systems employees will be on board to support the final sea trials of Nuship Adelaide. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.