Australia — Class amphibious ship Largs Bay acquisition

Min­is­ter for Defence Stephen Smith and Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that Aus­tralia has been suc­cess­ful in its bid to acquire the Unit­ed Kingdom’s Bay Class amphibi­ous ship Largs Bay.

The Gov­ern­ment has pre­vi­ous­ly announced that it had asked Defence to devel­op new and com­pre­hen­sive options to ensure tran­si­tion to Australia’s Can­ber­ra Class amphibi­ous Land­ing Heli­copter Dock ships, which become oper­a­tional from 2014, includ­ing the lease or pur­chase of a Bay Class Ship from the UK Government. 

Today, the Gov­ern­ment is con­firm­ing that Aus­tralia has been suc­cess­ful in its bid to acquire a Bay Class ship, Largs Bay. 

Largs Bay is a Land­ing Ship Dock (LSD) which was com­mis­sioned into ser­vice in 2006. It became sur­plus to Unit­ed King­dom (UK) require­ments as a result of the UK Government’s 2010 Defence Strate­gic Review. 

The ship weighs 16,000 tonnes. It is 176 metres long and 26 metres wide. Its flight deck has room for two large heli­copters and can also car­ry around 150 light trucks and 350 troops. 

Its car­go capac­i­ty is the equiv­a­lent of the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy’s entire amphibi­ous fleet. 

Largs Bay is a proven capa­bil­i­ty hav­ing pro­vid­ed human­i­tar­i­an relief as part of the inter­na­tion­al response to the Haiti earth­quake in 2010. 

Largs Bay will help ensure that the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy has the amphibi­ous capa­bil­i­ty it needs for oper­a­tion and human­i­tar­i­an sup­port in our region in the peri­od lead­ing up to the arrival of the Land­ing Heli­copter Dock Ships. 

The ship has been acquired for £65 mil­lion (approx­i­mate­ly $100 million). 

Teekay Ship­ping Aus­tralia has thor­ough­ly inspect­ed the ship and found that: “The ship presents very well, and from a tech­ni­cal point of view, there are no major defects.” 

Before the acqui­si­tion is finalised, Defence and the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy will con­duct sea tri­als to con­firm the mate­r­i­al state of the ship. 

The ship is expect­ed to arrive by the end of the year in time for it to be oper­a­tional in ear­ly 2012.
The Gov­ern­ment will announce fur­ther details of the tran­si­tion plan for Australia’s amphibi­ous ship capa­bil­i­ty to pro­vide this essen­tial capa­bil­i­ty until arrival of the Can­ber­ra Class in due course.

Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter 0419 474 392
Mr Clare’s Office: Kore­na Flana­gan 0418 251 316
Depart­men­tal : (02) 6127 1999 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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