The first of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) two Canberra-class landing helicopter docks (LHD), HMAS Canberra (LHD 01), has arrived at BAE Systems’ Williamstown shipyard facility in Melbourne, Australia, to complete the remaining part of its construction programme.
As part of ADF’s broader amphibious deployment and sustainment system, RAN awarded a contract to BAE Systems for construction of the two amphibious ships.
Agent-General for the state of Victoria in the UK Sally Capp said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be building the new HMAS Canberra in Melbourne and further cementing the trade links between Australia and the UK, with BAE Systems."
The vessel’s four sections will now be integrated to house combat, communications and ship management systems, with a final fit-out of all operational compartments following and being performed by BAE.
The Australian Navy will use the 27,000t LHD ships to support humanitarian missions, as well as to transport military equipment and aviation units.
Capable of carrying more than 1,100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters, the 230m-long LHDs will be fortified with four 20mm automated guns, six 12.7mm machine guns, anti-torpedo towed defence system, and Nulka active missile decoy system.
The Canberra-class LHDs, the largest ships ever built for the RAN, will be powered by a diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system, which is combined with LM 2500 gas turbine and two MAN 16V32/40 diesel generators.
BAE is scheduled to complete work on HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide in mid-2014 and in the first quarter 2014 respectively.
Image: An illustration of HMAS Canberra. Photo: file image.