Navantia has launched the ninth medium-sized fast-landing craft (LCM-1E) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), in a bid to support two new Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault vessels, ALHD Canberra and ALHD Adelaide.
The vessels are being built as part of a deal signed with Navantia for 12 new LCM-1E high-speed landing crafts.
The high-speed landing crafts, which have been acquired under the joint project 2048 phase three, enable the RAN to transport troops and equipment over shore when there are no fixed port facilities.
Based on vessels designed for the Spanish Navy between 2006 and 2008, the new high-speed landing craft is powered by two MAN 809kW engines and two waterjet propellers. It offers a maximum cruising speed of more than 20k and a 190nm range.
The delivery of all vessels will be completed by mid-2015.
Built in association with BAE Systems, the 27,000t, 23.30m-long LHD features radar navigation, a global positioning system, gyro needle / magnetic and HF communications equipment, including VHF and UHF.
The new LHDs will be used to transport and deploy forces, together with their equipment and aviation units, as well as to support humanitarian missions.
The Canberra-class LHDs are equipped with 6mm x 12.7mm machine guns, a Nulka active missile decoy system, anti-torpedo towed defence system (Nixie) and four 20mm automated guns.
Image: The RAN's ninth medium-sized fast-landing craft (LCM-1E) being launched at Navantia's shipyard. Photo: courtesy of Navantia.