Australia’s Canberra Class LHDs
August 20/15: The future HMAS Adelaide, the Royal Australian Navy’s second Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) vessel, has begun final sea trials ahead of an anticipated commissioning into service next year . The ten days of trials will take place just south of Sydney, with the RAN’s first LHD, the HMAS Canberra, commissioned in November last year. The second LHD was launched in July 2012 . The joint construction of the two vessels by Navantia and BAE Systems follows a $2.8 billion contract announced in October 2007.
In May of 2006 the Royal Australian Navy announced its decision to expand its naval expeditionary capabilities. HMAS Manoora and Kanimbla would be replaced with substantially larger and more capable modern designs, featuring strong air support. Navantia and Tenix offered a 27,000t Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) design that resembled the Strategic Projection Ship (Buque de Proyeccion Estrategica) under construction for the Spanish Navy. The DCNS-Thales Australia team, meanwhile, proposed a variation of the 21,300t Mistral Class that is serving successfully with the French Navy.
Navantia’s larger design eventually won, giving the Spanish firm an A$ 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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