The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has commissioned HMAS Canberra III (LHD 01), the first of two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock vessels (LHD), in Sydney, Australia.
RAN chief vice-admiral Tim Barrett said: "HMAS Canberra is an exciting addition to the RAN. This very capable ship will serve the nation well for decades to come."
Aimed at delivering an amphibious potential to the Australian Defence Force, the BAE-built HMAS Canberra is powered by a diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system, which is combined with one LM 2500 gas turbine and two MAN 16V32 / 40 diesel generators.
The 27,000t LHDs, which are the largest ships ever built for the RAN, will be deployed to deal with combat situations and humanitarian emergencies, and to transport military equipment and aviation units.
HMAS Canberra III is eight storeys above the water and is capable of carrying more than 1,100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters.
Commanding officer captain Jonathan Sadleir said: "Through the efforts of many organisations, this outstanding ship is now a reality.
"We know it’s an awesome ship with huge capability, but the next step is to go to sea and test procedures, refine and consolidate, so we can be ready when the nation needs us."
The 230m-long LHD is equipped with four 20mm automated guns, six 12.7mm machine guns, an anti-torpedo towed defence and Nulka active-missile decoy system.
The second Canberra-class LHD, HMAS Adelaide, is scheduled for commissioning in June 2015.
Image: The Australian White Ensign being raised during the commissioning of HMAS Canberra. Photo: courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy.