BAE Systems has delivered the first of two landing helicopter dock (LHD) vessels, Nuship Canberra, to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), paving the way for its planned commissioning next month.
The delivery follows the successful completion of sea trials in Port Phillip Bay and off the southern coast of New South Wales, Australia, which involved an assessment of the vessel's combat and communication systems, as well as some platform system trials.
The 27,000t warship is claimed to be the largest vessel ever built for the RAN.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive David Allott said: "The delivery of the first LHD was a significant milestone for BAE Systems, Australian shipbuilding and international cooperation.
"Shipbuilding projects are long-term and it's a credit to the organisations we worked with, including the Commonwealth, Navantia, L3 and Saab, and the individual project team members, for their perseverance, dedication and commitment to delivering this complex and highly capable ship."
Prior to the vessel's commissioning in Sydney, navy personnel will continue to move aboard Canberra and carry out training and other preparations.
Allott added: "The delivery of Nuship Canberra involved a number of highly skilled teams across several disciplines and three continents.
"As prime contractor, we have delivered the whole package to bring this ship to life so when it enters service it will have the highest capability of any ship in the RAN."
Capable of carrying 1,000 crew members, the 757ft-long Nuship Canberra can also accommodate helicopters and water craft, together with their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.
The vessel offers a maximum cruise speed of more than 20k and a 9,000nm range.
BAE is also working on the second LHD, Nuship Adelaide, with contractor sea trials scheduled for 2015.
Both vessels are capable of being deployed for large-scale humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
Image: Officials from both sides during the acceptance of LHD. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.