The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) second landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship, Nuship Adelaide, has been floated out from BAE Systems' Williamstown shipyard to undergo sea trials.
Nuship Adelaide will carry out initial trials in Port Phillip Bay, before leaving to Sydney. The vessel will be then dry docked in Sydney, where its hull and flight deck will be cleaned and painted.
The sea trials will be conducted under different scenarios, which will see the ship in certain conditions and / or water depths. In addition, some of the trials require its systems in specific configurations.
BAE Systems Maritime director Bill Saltzer said: "We will undertake approximately 240 hours of testing over 20 days to ensure all systems perform to their capability.
"Some of the trials will run concurrently and cover everything from basic systems operations such as alarms, to the ship's manoeuvrability while at sea."
The vessel will undergo more sea trials on the return voyage to Williamstown in July. The vessel will receive a second period of sea trials in August, which will focus on communication and combat systems.
The delivery of the vessel is expected to be in the end of September this year.
The 27,000t warships are claimed to be the largest vessels ever built for the RAN.
RAN received the first LHD vessel, Nuship Canberra, in October last year.
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 vessels offer a maximum cruise speed of more than 20k and a 9,000nm range.
For this project, Navantia constructed the hulls, while SAAB and L3 delivered the combat and communications systems, respectively.
Image: The 27,000t warships are claimed to be the largest vessel ever built for the RAN. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.