HMAS Canberra

This site is dedicated to all Royal Australian Navy and Australian Defence Force personnel who have served in HMAS CANBERRA.


HMAS CANBERRA (1) D 33 from the 9th of July 1928 until she was sunk in action off Savo Island on the 9th of August 1942.


HMAS CANBERRA (2) FFG-02 from the 21st of March 1981 until Decomissioning on the 12th of November 2005.


HMAS Canberra (3) LHD-02 from Commissioning on the 23rd of November 2014.



HMAS Canberra 3

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Canberra Class LHD

The Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock are new amphibious assault ships being developed for the Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Government has approved a AU$3 billion project to build two LHDs, which will have air support, amphibious assault, transport and command centre roles. They are planned to replace in turn HMAS Tobruk and one of the RAN's two current Kanimbla class vessels.

General Information

The Australian government's requirements include the capacity to transport up to 1,000 troops and 150 vehicles, including the new M1A1 Abrams tank in service with the Australian Army, have six helicopter spots on a full length flight deck for a mix of both transport and battlefield support helicopters, and a fully equipped hospital. On 20 January 2006, it was announced that the two ships would be named Canberra and Adelaide.[2]

In August 2005, the government chose two designs to participate in a run off.[3] The first was a modified version of the French Mistral class, which was proposed by the French company Armaris. The second design was based on the Spanish Buque de Proyección Estratégica design, proposed by the Spanish company Navantia.[4] The Navantia design was larger, at approximately 27,000 tonnes gross displacement, but the first unit for the Spanish Navy had only just started construction, making it an unknown quantity in terms of capability. By contrast, the French design was smaller, at approximately 24,000 tonnes, but had entered service with the French Navy.

In June 2007, the Australian Minister for Defence announced that Tenix Defence was the preferred tenderer for the construction of the two large amphibious landing ships at a cost of $3 billion. The ships are due to enter service from 2013. Tenix had proposed to build the Navantia design in partnership with the Spanish company.

The Australian Government stated that around 25 percent of the value of the project would involve work in Australia. This would be largely limited to construction of the superstructures of the two ships in Tenix's (now BAE Systems') shipyard in Williamstown, Victoria, with some systems work done in South Australia. Consolidation of the two ships and systems integration would occur in Williamstown. To allow work to be done at Williamstown, financial support has been provided by the State Government of Victoria "to prepare the Williamstown shipyard to participate in future projects such as AWD module construction and the large amphibious ships project. The Government is also supporting a skills training program for these projects."


HMAS Canberra 3 - Ship starts to take shape

The Canberra Times

January 2, 2013

David Ellery

CAPITAL AFLOAT: HMAS Canberra is almost 28,000 tonnes. The combined cost of Canberra and its sister ship, Adelaide, will be more than $3.1 billion.

This year is shaping up as a big one for the future HMAS Canberra, Australia's first helicopter landing dock and the third Royal Australian Navy vessel to bear the name of the national capital.

BAE Systems maritime director Bill Saltzer said the vessel now looked like the ship her designers had expected her to become following the recent installation of the Australian-made superstructure blocks on the massive hull.

A 29-year veteran of the shipbuilding trade, Mr Saltzer said the moment when the 300-tonne bridge block had been swung out over the hull by a crane had been tense.

Although the 28,000-tonne Canberra is almost half as large again as Australia's previous biggest ship, HMAS Melbourne, she is less than one-third the size of some of the vessels Mr Saltzer has worked on.


Among other roles, he commissioned and then managed a military shipbuilding yard in the United Arab Emirates.

''I have handled overhauls and refuelling on USS Nimitz and worked on other Nimitz-class aircraft carriers including the Roosevelt, Lincoln and Washington,'' he said.

''I have also worked on the USS Enterprise, which had eight nuclear reactors.''

USS Nimitz and her sister ships are 333 metres long, compared with 230 metres for the Canberra, and carry 93,405 tonnes fully laden compared with 30,700 tonnes for the Australian helicopter landing dock.

Now that the key elements of the vessel are in place, much of this year will be devoted to fitting Canberra out in preparation for her commissioning into the Australian fleet in the first quarter of next year following testing and sea trials.

Mr Saltzer said the work was on schedule and on budget. He understood that the official naming ceremony would be held early this year.

There is, however, much more to the project than just building the ship. Navantia, the designers who also built the hull, are contracted to supply the watercraft that will be shipped aboard Canberra and its sister ship, Adelaide.

The Australian Defence Force is under pressure to train crews and soldiers to make effective use of the two vessels, which have a combined cost in excess of $3.1 billion, from the day they are commissioned.

Adelaide is expected to be ready for service in 2015.

Mr Saltzer said the two vessels were world class and more appropriate to Australia's operational needs than US designs - which tend to be larger and more manpower-intensive - would have been.

He said the project had resulted in the development of a highly efficient naval shipbuilding industry and expressed concern that this capability might be lost if it was not used for new projects.

''Australia is an island nation,'' he said. ''Shipbuilding is a strategic industry.''

Mr Saltzer said he would miss Canberra and Adelaide when they finally sailed away.

''Every ship, especially one as large and as complex as this one, becomes a part of the family,'' he said. ''When it sails away it is like watching a member of the family leave home.'' ...More


HMAS Canberra 3 - Arrives in Australia - 17 Oct 2012

Geelong Advertiser

17 October 2013

The vessel ship lovers have been waiting for has arrived in Port Philip Bay.

MV Blue Marlin. Pictures are taken from Point Lonsdale. Photos: Mitch Bear

The world's largest lifting ship Blue Marlin passes through the heads at Pr Lonsdale shortly after 11am.

The Geelong Advertiser went on board the South Bay Eco tours boat to get up close with the vessel, which was carrying the ship that- after works in Geelong- will become the HMAS Canberra Landing Helicopter Dock

A group of men from the World Ship Society were also on board the Eco boat, which was a speck on the horizon in comparison to the orange giant. 

Excited society members said it was amazing to see the ship so close...More



7 Yahoo News

17 October 2013

Click on Image to view video

The hull of the Australian Navy's new giant helicopter carrier has gone through the heads at Queenscliff, south-west of Melbourne.

The hull of what will one day be HMAS Canberra has been towed from Spain, to Geelong.

It is just one part of the ship, but it is so big, no dry docks in Australia are able to accommodate it.

The ship is as long as the Rialto Tower and, once complete, will carry as many as 1000 troops, 100 armoured vehicles, 12 helicopters and four landing craft.

It will travel from Geelong to Williamstown, where the work will be completed by 2014.

Victoria's Manufacturing Minister, Richard Dalla-Riva, says the work will create about 900 jobs.

"This is a significant project for Victorian manufacturing," he said.

The Federal Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare, says the ship could be used for support in a natural disaster.

"This floating city can float off the coast and provide the people and the resources and the hospital care that's needed," he said.

Leigh Diehm of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has questioned why it was not built locally.

"The fabrication of this hull would have created hundreds of jobs, not only here in Australia but in other facilities around the country," he said.

"You've got a very good facility down there in Williamstown that has been building ships for a lot of years and they certainly have the skills and capabilities to do that."...More



HMAS Canberra 3 - Progress Update 20 August 2012

Future HMAS Canberra is on the way

Sydney Morning Herald

20 August 2012

The following is just in from the Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare:


HMAS CANBERRA 3 departs Spain being transported by SS Blue Marlin

"On arrival in Australian waters the ship will transit to Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne and then on to the Williamstown dockyard for consolidation of the superstructure and installation of the combat and communications and navigation systems. This will be followed by sea trials."

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced the departure of the hull of the first of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) new amphibious ships from Ferrol in northern Spain.
Mr Clare said the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) 01 hull will be transported to Melbourne, Australia, by the Heavy Lift Ship, Blue Marlin. The hull was built in the Navantia shipyard in Spain.

“The trip is expected to take approximately seven weeks depending on weather conditions,” Mr Clare said. The Canberra Class LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. When completed they will be more than 230 metres long, 27.5 metres high and weigh around 27,500 tonnes.

Mr Clare said each ship can carry a combined arms battle group of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and features a 40-bed hospital.
“On arrival in Australian waters the ship will transit to Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne and then on to the Williamstown dockyard for consolidation of the superstructure and installation of the combat and communications and navigation systems.

This will be followed by sea trials,” he said. The vessel is scheduled to be delivered to the RAN in early 2014...More


LHD Characteristics

The largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy, the LHDs (Amphibious Assault Ship) are being built as a collaboration between Navantia and BAE Systems - Maritime.

The construction is being done using the modular approach whereby the ship is divided into modules, which are built and fitted out as discrete units, before being welded together to form the completed ship. This allows the ship to be built at a number of different sites across the shipyard before being brought together for final joining.

Construction of the hull to the level of the flight deck, including the majority of fitting out will be undertaken at Navantia's Ferrol-Fene shipyard in north-west Spain. The hull will then be shipped to BAES' Williamstown shipyard in Victoria for the installation of the island structure. The island modules will be constructed at a number of sites around Australian before being moved to Williamstown for final installation on the flight deck.

The ship's roles are to:

embark, transport and deploy an embarked force (Army in the case of the ADF but could equally be an allied Army or Marines), along with their equipment and aviation units, and
carry out/support humanitarian missions.
Therefore the requirement is for a multipurpose ship able to operate in both these roles, but not necessarily simultaneously, owing to the differing configuration requirements.

The first LHD, named HMAS Canberra, is due to be commissioned in January 2014 and the second ship, HMAS Adelaide, is planned to commission in June 2015.

The ship is a conventional steel mono hull design with the superstructure located on the starboard side of the flight deck. There are four main decks: the Well Dock and Heavy Vehicle Deck for heavy vehicles and/or cargo; Main Accommodation Deck, including the Primary Casualty Reception Facility (PCRF); Hangar and Light Vehicle Deck for light weight vehicles and cargo; and the Flight Deck.

The LHD has been designed with the shallowest possible draft to allow her to operate in secondary ports and harbours as well as manoeuvre tactically in the shallow waters common in the littoral regions. Maximum speed is in excess of 20kn with a range of 6,000nm, a sustained maximum speed of 19kn under full-load conditions and an economic cruising speed of 15kn with a range of 9,000nm. She can also reverse with full directional control at up to 8kn.

The LHD has a stern ramp/door that provides access to the well dock for landing craft and vehicles along with a fixed ramp (steel beach) between the well dock and the heavy vehicle/cargo deck (1410m2). Additionally two lateral ramp doors are located on the starboard side and provide wharf access to the heavy vehicle/cargo deck for vehicles up to 65T. Vehicular access between the heavy and light vehicle decks is achieved via a fixed ramp located on the port side.

The well dock is 69.3m long and 16.8m wide (1165m2) and the LHD will normally carry four LCM 1E. An additional four RHIBs can be carried behind the LCM 1Es, however this will be mission dependant rather than a normal load out. The well dock has been designed to handle water craft of allied nations, including LCUs, amphibious vehicles and LCACs.

The main accommodation deck is located above the well dock and heavy vehicle/cargo deck and includes crew accommodation, mess decks, medical spaces, galley facilities, office spaces, and recreation rooms. Accommodation is provided for 1400 personnel; approximately 400 ship’s company including the watercraft and flight deck crews and 1000 embarked force personnel including the PCRF, embarked flight, HQ staff and landing force. The LHD will be jointly crewed with personnel from Navy, Army and the Air Force forming the ship’s company.

The LHD's flight deck is 202.3m long and 32m wide (4750m2), allowing the ship to operate a range of ADF rotary wing aircraft including:

NRH-90 helicopter
CH-47 Chinook helicopter
Blackhawk helicopter
Future Navy Aviation Combat System (Seahawk replacement).

Spanish LHD, SPS Juan Carlos I, alongside the Spanish Carrier, SPS Principe de Asturias. The RAN’s LHD is based on the SPS Juan Carlos I.
The flight deck has been configured with six spots on the port side for medium sized aircraft such as the NRH 90 or Blackhawk, which allows for simultaneous take off and landing operations; alternatively it can support simultaneous take off and landing operations of four CH-47 Chinooks.

There are two aircraft elevators – one aft of the flight deck and one fwd of the island on the stbd side - that can accommodate medium sized helicopters, with the after one able to accommodate larger helicopters such as CH 47. Both aircraft elevators service the hangar and light vehicle/cargo deck and the fwd elevator is dual roled for stores and personnel.

Between the flight deck and the accommodation deck is a contiguous hangar and light vehicle deck; the hanger (990m2) occupying the after section of the deck whilst the light vehicle deck (1880m2) is located on the forward section of the deck. The hanger can accommodate up to 8 medium sized helicopters with 18 medium sized helicopters able to be accommodated if the light vehicle deck is also used.

There is a cargo lift that can be used to transfer 20-foot ISO containers and vehicles up to a weight of 16 tonnes between the heavy and light vehicle decks. There are also lifts for ammunition, provisions and casualties. Up to 110 vehicles, depending on the size and configuration, can be loaded across the two vehicles decks

The Command and Control (C2) and Combat Systems will consist of:

Combat Management System
Extensive ICT infrastructure to support the ADF’s Command Support Systems and provide C2 capability for the embarked force
3D Air Search Radar
Helicopter Control and Surface Radar
Navigation Radar
IFF capability, including Mode S
Integrated communications system (internal and external), including a Message Handling System, Link 11 and 16, civil and military Satellite Communications
Electro Optical and IR surveillance systems
Integrated Navigation System, including an integrated bridge, navigation sensors, AIS and WECDIS.

The LHD will be fitted with a number of defensive systems including:

Anti-Torpedo Towed Defense System (Nixie)
Four 20 mm automated guns
6 x 12.7 mm machine guns
Active missile decoy system – Nulka (weight and space reserve)
Major Statistics
Length Overall 230.82m
Moulded Beam 32.00m
Beam Waterline 29.50m
Flight Deck height 27.50m
Draft at Full Load Displacement 7.08m
Full Load Displacement 27,500 tonnes
The LHD utilises an electric drive system similar to that used by major cruise companies such as Cunard.

The propulsion/generating plant includes the following main elements:

One gas turbine (LM 2500) turbo generator of 19,160kW
Two MAN 16V32/40 diesel generators of 7,448 kW each
Two Siemens azimuth POD units of 11.0 MW each fitted with two propellers of approx 4.5m diameter
Two bow thrusters of 1,500kW each
One Progener-Mitsubishi S16MPTA emergency diesel generator of 1,350kW


HMAS Canberra 3 - Progress Update 02 April 2012

Asia Pacific Defence Reporter

02 April 2012

Byline: Geoff Slocombe / Victoria

The two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships, CANBERRA and ADELAIDE will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy when they come into service in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Based on the Spanish ‘Juan Carlos’ class – in fact virtually identical to them – they will displace 28,000 tonnes. Their roles are to embark, transport and deploy an Army force of up to 1,160 soldiers each by helicopter and landing craft. They will also be an outstanding asset for carrying out or supporting humanitarian missions.

The two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships, CANBERRA and ADELAIDE will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy when they come into service in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Based on the Spanish ‘Juan Carlos’ class – in fact virtually identical to them – they will displace 28,000 tonnes. Their roles are to embark, transport and deploy an Army force of up to 1,160 soldiers each by helicopter and landing craft. They will also be an outstanding asset for carrying out or supporting humanitarian missions.

When interviewed by APDR, BAE Systems Australia Director of Maritime, Bill Saltzer, said:

“BAE Systems Australia is proud to be the prime contractor on this critical program for the Australian Government. BAE Systems has a strong reputation and proven capability for managing major naval shipbuilding projects and that capability is being aggressively applied on the LHD project. We are working in close cooperation with our Defence customer as a partner and we are fully committed to both the success of this program and the continuing development of naval shipbuilding and support capability within Australia.

“We have also developed great relationships with the other key members of the LHD team including Navantia, Saab, L3 and the many major equipment providers so that we have one team all pulling in the same direction. Without question, this is a challenging project from many perspectives:
• The largest naval vessel ever produced in Australia and the largest ever inducted into the Australian Defence Force
• Complex combat, communication and other leading edge technology from suppliers all around the globe
• A high degree of systems integration to support the many aspects of amphibious operations (sea, air and land)”

“Even with these challenges and complexities, we are confident that all of the parties involved are committed to supporting each other to achieve a successful result with regard to schedule, budget and most importantly, delivery of the effective mission capabilities needed by the Australian military.”

The Prime Contractor

As Prime Contractor BAE Systems has to manage all sub-contractors as well as the interface with both DMO and the ADF. They are charged with delivering the vessels to the contract specification in Australia.

In addition BAE Systems are responsible for systems engineering for bridge and upper deck design, superstructure fabrication at Williamstown (Melbourne) and Henderson (WA), ship consolidation at Williamstown, combat and other systems integration, then tests, trials and commissioning. At the same time they will provide Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) by delivering operator and maintainer manuals, crew training needs analysis, sparing analysis, then design and develop training for two crews.

BAE Systems will also seek a role in training delivery, provision of spares and loose items and to win a Through Life Support (TLS) contract for material and personnel.

At this stage, Bill Saltzer says:

“Any major naval shipbuilding project has an abundance of schedule risks that must be continuously managed and the LHD project is no exception, especially considering its size and the many mission systems that are involved. There are critical paths running in different elements of the project that have to be managed simultaneously, both in the platform and in the mission systems. BAE Systems Australia has world class capability in this field, a very capable Government customer with whom we work in close cooperation and many very capable subcontractors and suppliers. All of us are committed to ensuring those risks are effectively overcome. There is nothing currently experienced or foreseen that will stop us from achieving success.”

The schedule calls for LHD 1 to arrive at Williamstown in 4th quarter 2012, with handover and sea trials one year later, before delivery to the RAN in the 1st quarter 2014. LHD 2 is due to arrive 1st quarter 2014, to be ready for handover and sea trials 2nd quarter 2015, with delivery in the 3rd quarter 2015.

The Land Based Test Site (LBTS) was installed by July 2011. The major activity is risk mitigation of equipment integration and set to work prior to installation on ship with testing scheduled to finish by the end of 2012.

The LBTS is not a training facility, it is an integration facility in support of ship delivery, and there is no current intent for it to be used for training during the shipbuilding project. The Contractor Temporary Training Facility is being established in Sydney and BAE Systems and the DMO are working through the development and delivery of Training which is targeted to commence by mid 2013.

Navantia is making good progress

The LHD 1 hull was launched at the Navantia shipyard in Ferrol, Spain in February 2011 and, as noted above, is due to arrive at Williamstown Yard in the 4th quarter of this year. It is currently undergoing final fit out of the hospital, store rooms, accommodation and machinery spares.

LHD 2’s hull had its keel laid the day after LHD 1 was launched. Currently 67 of its 105 blocks are erected on the slipway.

In a separate contract Navantia is building 12 LCM-1Es, which are 110 tonne fast landing craft for the LHDs. These vessels are intended to deliver troops and equipment, including tanks, onshore during amphibious assaults. They will also be invaluable in humanitarian operations where no port access is available but suitable landing beaches can be found.

Combat Management Systems (CMS) from Saab

There are several parts to Saab’s contribution to the LHD shipbuilding program. In addition to the Design and Integration of the Combat Direction System, Saab is designing and supplying the CMS, integrating the data links in Australia along with their Data Link Processor subcontractor Northrop Grumman (USA), and supplying their Saab multi-role 3D Giraffe AMB air search radar.

Their CMS is originally a Swedish product selected by Australia for the ANZAC program many years ago and further developed by Saab locally for the highly successful ANZAC Anti-Ship Missile Defence programme – initially trialled on HMAS Perth and now to be fitted to the remainder of the Class. The majority of software and systems engineering work is undertaken in Australia except for some modules which had already been completed in Sweden on other programs. The hardware is mostly Swedish designed and manufactured.

The total package is being brought together in Australia using local expertise by Saab Systems, and they will take total responsibility for it as one of the principal sub-contractors to BAE Systems.

When asked to comment on the LHD project’s progress, a spokesman said that it is generally running according to plan and so the company is confident that the end will be reached on schedule. The Combat Direction System is integrated and successfully working in the LHD LBTS in preparation for higher level testing later this year, which is expect to finish on time. The level of Engineering Change Proposals raised in our scope of the project is at normal levels. According to the company, these are predominantly correction of minor requirements and design changes, and the management of baseline product artefacts as we progress through the development process. Some number are related to extensions to the scope of work such as the recently agreed training system and training material delivery contract change. Not many have arisen from test activities at this stage. Because the ship acquisition is MOTS procurement, the level of changes is relatively small when compared to a pure development project.

Richard Price, Saab Systems MD, told APDR:

“Saab is confident with the progress and performance of Saab’s deliverables to the LHD Project, which we expect to be achieved on schedule. This is consistent with our recent performance, such as for the ANZAC ASMD project”

L-3 Communications is providing the communication systems

APDR has previously examined the reasons why L-3 Communications were selected for this project and what capabilities they will provide to the LHDs – see ‘LHD Communications Suite’ APDR August 2010.

L-3's LHD communication system being installed includes all external and internal communication subsystems, Maritime Tactical WAN, IT Networks, CCTV, Data Links, Entertainment and Training subsystems and the Broadcast & Alarm System.


A huge effort is being devoted to developing LHD training systems, initially in advance of the LHDs becoming available, but later to mitigate the need to send crew to sea just for this activity.

The main contracts for training signed with the Commonwealth of Australia are with KBR for virtual ship training; Kongsberg for the LHD Engineering System Trainer (LEST); L-3 Communications for communications operator and maintenance training; Sperry Marine for the integrated bridge management system; and Saab for combat systems operator and maintenance training.

The Saab spokesman said:

“Saab has been contracted to provide training equipment and course material for a purpose designed LHD training facility. We expect to deliver this training system and material according to schedule in mid-2013, with training delivery to be undertaken as separate scope after this time.”

The most spectacular training development is the employment of avatars - on-screen, virtual-reality images that represent crew members, including their personalities, traits and habits. KBR has assembled a consortium of Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems, Catalyst Interactive – a Canberra-based KBR company – and Crytek to undertake the development of a Virtual Ship Training and Information System (ViSTIS). The CryEngine® 3 - software developed for computer games – was used to build a three dimensional model of the LHD. Avatars of the trainee can be sent to any part of the ship for familiarisation tasks, or a whole group can be briefed on their roles in any operation and carry out rehearsals. Up to 100 personnel at any one time can use this virtual ship to participate in simulated exercises and emergency response scenarios from all over the country, without having to be in the same location.

Williamstown Yard preparations

According to Bill Saltzer there are two aspects to this task, yard production and facility readiness to receive the LHD 1 hull.

All four superstructure blocks are now built and are currently being outfitted at Williamstown. Two blocks have been blasted and painted and the other two blocks are in the blast and paint facility. All three masts are built in the BAE Systems yard in Henderson WA and continue to be outfitted prior to transportation to the Williamstown site for consolidation with the other superstructure build blocks.

The facility readiness program is on a tight schedule with four broad areas of work - Mooring and Access; Services to the Wharf; Heavy Lift preparations to allow the superstructure blocks to be lifted; and the Stand-By Crew Facility. All four areas of scope have been contracted and work is progressing to the planned schedule.

Moving the LHD 1 hull to Australia

The Navantia shipyard in northern Spain is on an estuary. While the LHD 1 hull was launched off the slipway into this estuary, then brought by tugs alongside a dock to complete the contracted work, this poses problems for transporting the hull to Williamstown.

The chosen solution is to use the semi-submersible heavy lift ship, MV Blue Marlin, to transport the hull on its deck. However, the 7.2 metre draft hull will be moved by tugs to the adjacent port of A Coruña, which has the necessary depth for the Blue Marlin to submerge beneath the hull.

Although the shortest route from Spain to Australia is through the Suez Canal, Navantia have chosen to come via the Cape of Good Hope to avoid canal scheduling uncertainties and also piracy threats along the east African coast. The transit is expected to start in the August/September timeframe with 2 days for float on, 45 days for transit, and 2 days for float off at Williamstown.

Is this going to be a model project?

It has been generally agreed that the ten ship ANZAC shipbuilding programme was the most successful in recent naval construction. Adapting an existing design, for the Meko 200 German frigate, took a lot of schedule risk and cost out of the ANZAC frigate project.

Now with the LHD project, similar MOTS considerations apply by choosing and adapting the Spanish Juan Carlos 1 design. However, the combat and communication systems specified by the Australian Government are different from those used on the Spanish vessel. As a result, the number of design changes on the platform systems are about as BAE Systems expected, while the number of changes driven by the different combat and communication systems are greater. Part of project management is a process for change management and BAE Systems have that process in place with their customer and subcontractors/suppliers.

In future years, the LHD programme may be viewed to be as successful as the ANZAC frigate programme...More



You Tube Video of HMAS Canberra 3


LHD "Canberra Class", built by NAVANTIA & BAE SYSTEMS for the Royal Australian Navy. The first LHD, named HMAS Canberra, is due to be commissioned in January 2014 and the second ship, HMAS Adelaide, is planned to commission in June 2015.



HMAS Canberra

Avatars train on Navy's future ship

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Korena Flanagan

Sailors will be able to use 3-D avatars to train on ships that are currently under construction thanks to cutting edge simulation technology being used in Australia.

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare visited KBR in Canberra to see first hand a demonstration of the virtual Landing Helicopter Dock Ship (LHD), created using CryEngine® 3 -- software developed for computer games.

KBR have been contracted by Defence to create the interactive, three-dimensional replica of the first LHD scheduled to be delivered in the middle of the decade – HMAS Canberra.

Up to 100 personnel at any one time can use this virtual ship to participate in simulated exercises and emergency response scenarios from all over the country without having to be in the same location.

“This is like Play Station with a purpose,” Mr Clare said.

“KBR have combined gaming technology and the plans of the LHDs to create a state-of-the-art 3-D model of the Navy ship currently under construction.”

Mr Clare said innovations like this virtual ship represented the future of military training.

“These LHDs are different to any ship the Navy has ever sailed and this simulation gives sailors a head-start on training to operate the ship.

“It means our sailors can start learning how to operate these new ships years before they begin operations.

“Helicopter pilots can land a virtual helicopter and Navy engineers can train on the ship’s virtual engines.

“The level of detail is incredible -- sailors can even find the bunk they’ll sleep in on board.

“This can save time and money in the training and operation of these ships.”

The hull of the first LHD was launched in February in Spain where it is being constructed by Navantia.

The hull of the first ship will arrive in Melbourne next year for further work to be completed at the Williamstown Shipyard before it becomes operational in late 2014.  Australia’s second LHD will become operational the following year. 

The LHDs will be the largest ships the Navy has ever operated, eclipsing Australia’s last aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne.

Each ship is 230 metres long and can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1000 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters. They also include a 40-bed hospital.



HMAS Canberra 3 - Launched 17 Feb 2011

LHD launch paves the way for amphibious transformation

18 February 2011

The launch of LHD 1's hull

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; the event having a distinct Australian feel as children of Australian diplomats 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 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,” he said.

“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.


HMAS Canberra 3 Launching


Royal Australian Navy Video of HMAS Canberra 3 Launch released 18 Feb 2011.


Royal Australian Navy Launching Images


The launch of LHD 1's hull was held at the Navantia dockyards at Ferrol in northern Spain. The event had a distinctly Australian feel with the children of Australian diplomats in Spain joining 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 was the “launch lady”. Rear Admiral Coates commanded the previous HMAS Canberra 2.



On 24 September 2009 a keel laying ceremony took place for LHD 01 vessel at the Navantia shipbuilding yard, Ferrol, Spain. The Minister announced that

After completion of the hulls for the Amphibious Ships they will be transported to Australia. The superstructures will then be constructed, fitted out and integrated with the hulls at BAE Systems’ Williamstown dockyard. The combat system is to be provided by Saab Systems Australia, which will also integrate the combat management system; and the communications system will be supplied by L-3 Communications.[6]

The launch of LHD 01 will be in Spain during March 2011, with expected arrival at Williamstown dockyard in 2012. LHD 02 hull is expected to arrive in 2014.

The Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock are new amphibious assault ships being developed for the Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Government has approved a AU$3 billion project to build two LHDs, which will have air support, amphibious assault, transport and command centre roles. They are planned to replace in turn HMAS Tobruk and one of the RAN's two current Kanimbla class vessels.



HMAS Canberra 3 Construction Images in Spain Oct 2010 - 16 Feb 2011


LHD Juan Carlos 1 - Video

Video Taken during Sea Trials of the new LHD Juan Carlos in Spain, the new Canberra Class is based on this design. Run time 4 Min 43 Secs


LHD Juan Carlos Commissioning Images

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