24 September 2009
Canberra class LHD (photo : DefenceGovAu)
Amphibious Ships Official Keel Laying Ceremony
Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced that the official keel laying of Australia’s first Amphibious Ship (LHD 01) took place overnight at Navantia’s shipbuilding yard in Ferrol, Spain.
“Under Project JP2048 Phase 4A/B the Commonwealth is acquiring two new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious ships to provide sustainment support for our deployed forces,” said Mr Combet.
BAE Systems Australia Defence is the prime contractor for this $3.3 billion project. The Spanish shipbuilder Navantia is subcontracted to BAE as the design authority and is required to construct and fit out the hulls of two large Amphibious Ships for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“The project is on schedule with the ceremony for the keel laying of the hull for LHD 01 occurring exactly one year to the day from first steel being cut. I am also advised that the whole of ship design reviews are nearing completion,” said Mr Combet.
“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.”
The next milestone will be the launch of LHD 01 in Spain in March 2011 and then the arrival of it at Williamstown dockyard in 2012 with LHD 02 arriving in 2014.
“As outlined in the Government’s White Paper, these ships will be able to carry a substantial quantity of equipment, stores and personnel. In terms of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, they will most likely be the best means available to provide assistance in our region,” said Mr Combet.
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Navantia Lays Keel for the First LHD for Australia
Navantia has laid on 23th. September the keel for the LHD “Canberra” at the Ferrol shipyard. It is the first of the series of two that Australia contracted with Navantia in 2007.
The ceremony has been presided by the Chief of the Australian Navy, Admiral Russ Crane and by Aurelio Martínez, CEO of Navantia. Amongst other relevant attendants we must highlight the Deputy Premier of South Australia, Hon. Kevin Foley, the Australian Ambassador to Spain and members of the Spanish Navy.
This milestone consisted of the erection in slipway 3 of the 4 blocks of the keel (numbers 320, 322, 323 y 328) out of a total of 104 blocks. This ship was started exactly 12 months ago, and after this milestone, the ship will be launched in 18 months and it is expected to be commissioned to BAE Systems (Tenix in 2007). The second ship will be started in 2010 and will have the same sequence.
The design of these ships is based in the LHD “Juan Carlos I”, currently under construction for the Spanish Navy, and was selected over the French company Armaris offer, because it completely fitted the Royal Australian Navy requirements.
The contract reaches 1,411.6 million euros, being 915 million euros for Navantia, that includes the design and construction of the ships, as well as some equipment as engines and platform control system, that will be provided by Navantia. Both contracts mean a very important milestone for Navantia, as its biggest export operation in the history, reaching 1,200 million euros and will make of Navantia the reference naval designer and shipbuilder in the world.
- Length overall: 230.82 m
- Breadth maximum: 32 m
- Height flight deck: 27.50 m
- Full load displacement: 27,831 t
- Full load speed: 20.5 kn
- Range (@15 knots): 8,000 nautical miles
- Crew: 243 + 36 additional
- Embarked forces: 978 + 146 additional
- Hangar: 990 m2
- Flight deck: 4,750 m2
- Light cargo garage: 1,880 m2
- Heavy cargo garage: 1,410 m2