Navantia has delivered the first four new medium-sized fast landing craft (LCM-1E) to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The delivery is a part of a contract signed by Navantia in September 2011 to develop 12 new LCM-1E high-speed landing craft for RAN in support of two new Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ships.
Being acquired under the joint project 2048 phase three from Navantia, the high-speed landing craft allow RAN to transport troops and equipment over shore where there are no fixed port facilities.
The first four fast landing crafts have departed from Navantia facilities in Puerto Real, and are expected to arrive at their intended destinations around mid-April, while the remaining eight units are currently under construction and will be delivered to the Navy in groups of four during the next months.
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Powered by two engines MAN of 806kW and two waterjet propellers, the LCM-1E craft feature radar navigation, global positioning system, gyro needle / magnetic and HF communications equipment, VHF and UHF.
Being built by Navantia in collaboration with BAE Systems, the 27,000t LHD have a range of 190nm, a length of 23.3m and can cruise at a speed of 22k.
The ships will be used to embark, transport and deploy forces, along with their equipment and aviation units as well as to perform out / support humanitarian missions.
The LHDs are armed with 6mm x 12.7mm machine guns, Nulka active missile decoy system, anti-torpedo towed defence system (Nixie) and four 20mm automated guns.