Australia’s Canberra Class LHDs
May 22/17: Vice Adm. Tim Barrett, the head of the Royal Australian Navy, has admitted that there might be a design problem on the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD). The two vessels, who will now miss out on the Talisman Sabre exercise in the US next month, are suffering from oil leaks found in their propulsion systems, while one, the HMAS Adelaide, had metal particles detected in the vessel’s lubricants and is now dry docked. Built by Spanish firm Navantia using a propulsion system made by German firm Siemens, while British firm BAE Systems has integrated the ship’s systems, each vessel comes at a cost of approximately $1.11 billion USD.
In May of 2006 the Royal Australian Navy announced its decision to expand its naval expeditionary capabilities. HMAS Manoora and Kanimbla would be replaced with substantially larger and more capable modern designs, featuring strong air support. Navantia and Tenix offered a 27,000t Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) design that resembled the Strategic Projection Ship (Buque de Proyeccion Estrategica) under construction for the Spanish Navy. The DCNS-Thales Australia team, meanwhile, proposed a variation of the 21,300t Mistral Class that is serving successfully with the French Navy.
Navantia’s larger design eventually won, giving the Spanish firm an A$ 11 billion clean sweep of Australia’s “Air Warfare Destroyer” and LHD programs. These 5 ships will be the core of Australia’s future surface navy. The future HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide will be able to serve as amphibious landing ships, helicopter carriers, floating HQs and medical facilities for humanitarian assistance, and launching pads for UAVs or even short/vertical takeoff fighters.
Winner: The Navantia-Tenix LHD
Program & Construction Plans
Project 2048: Management
A Surprise Companion
Contracts and Key Events
2011 – 2013
2009 – 2010
Background: The Canberra Class
Background: Key Onboard Systems & Aircraft
Background: Companion Ships
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