Australia — LHD launch paves the way for amphibious transformation

The hull of the first of the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy’s two new amphibi­ous ships has been launched in Spain, herald­ing a new era for Australia’s amphibi­ous capa­bil­i­ty.
Chief of Navy Vice Admi­ral Russ Crane led the launch and said the event was enor­mous­ly sig­nif­i­cant.

“These ships are offi­cial­ly known as Land­ing Heli­copter Docks or LHDs and are the largest the Aus­tralian Navy has ever owned,” Vice Admi­ral Crane said.

LHD01’s hull launch was held at the Navan­tia dock­yards at Fer­rol in north­ern Spain with the event hav­ing a dis­tinct­ly Aus­tralian feel, as chil­dren of Aus­tralian diplo­mats in Spain joined the offi­cial del­e­ga­tion, wav­ing Aus­tralian flags. A Can­ber­ra region­al sparkling wine was bro­ken over the Can­ber­ra Class ship’s hull. Vic­ki Coates, wife of the late Rear Admi­ral Nigel Coates, who com­mand­ed the pre­vi­ous HMAS Can­ber­ra, was the ‘launch lady’.

Vice Admi­ral Crane said that with a new gen­er­a­tion in tech­nol­o­gy would come a new way of think­ing in terms of how Navy would oper­ate and crew this new capability. 

“We are well pro­gressed in our plan­ning for the LHD arrival. I am con­fi­dent we will have the peo­ple and the knowhow by the time the first LHD comes on line. Most impor­tant­ly for now, this project is on time and on budget.”

Both ships will be based at Gar­den Island in Syd­ney. Crewed by all three ser­vices, the LHD will mark a sig­nif­i­cant strength­en­ing of the ADF’s amphibi­ous capa­bil­i­ty and tri-ser­vice culture.

First of class, HMAS Can­ber­ra (LHD01) will arrive in Vic­to­ria next year where it will be fit­ted out before being accept­ed into ser­vice in 2014 with sis­ter ship HMAS Ade­laide (LHD02) to fol­low the year after. 

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

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