Home » Aviation » Second Australian Canberra-class Big Deck Amphib Starts Sea Trials

Second Australian Canberra-class Big Deck Amphib Starts Sea Trials

Australia's two Canberra-class amphibious warships. RAN Photo

Australia’s two Canberra-class amphibious warships. RAN Photo

The Royal Australian Navy has begun sea trials for its second big deck Canberra-class amphibious warship, BAE Systems Australia said Tuesday.

The 27,000 ton Adelaide (L01) left BAE Systems Williamstown shipyard outside Melbourne on the June 17 for ten days of trails in route to Sydney.

The evaluation precedes a second set of trials planned for August ahead of an anticipated delivery of the amphib to the Royal Australian Navy later this year.

“We will undertake approximately 240 hours of testing over 20 days to ensure all systems perform to their capability,” said Bill Saltzer, BAE Systems Director of Maritime, in a statement. “Some of the trials will run concurrently and cover everything from basic systems operations such as alarms, to the ship’s maneuverability while at sea.”

LHD_AWD_ANZAC_FFG_Size_ComparisonThe second set of sea trials in August will test the ship’s communication and combat systems.

The hulls for the two-ships — the largest ships ever built for the Australian Navy — were primarily constructed by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, then barged to Australia and outfitted in Williamstown.

The ships will be crewed by about 400 RAN sailors and can transport about 1,000 troops with four landing craft and eight helicopters in an amphibious configuration. The ships can field up to 18 helicopters in an aviation centric configuration.

First-in-class HMAS Canberra (L02) delivered to the RAN late last year.

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  • Bill

    What reason is there to have the ski jump unless they intend to buy F-35B’s?

    • Rob C.

      Helios can use them too as silly as it sounds. Also, light fixed wing aircraft can use them as well.

      • Bill

        I imagine so. But, it’s got to cost quite a bit to build this structure, however it’ll be far cheaper to design it in rather than retrofit if the Aussies do buy some jump jets.

        I have never understood why the USN has been so resistant to using them.

    • Secundius

      @ Bill.

      So the USMC, stationed in Australia can use their F/AV-35B’s on them…

      • Bill

        OK, that makes sense, even though the USMC flies from flat deck ships. I’m pretty sure they’ve trained on RN ski jump ships. I expect Australia will eventually buy some, as will Japan.

        • Secundius

          @ Bill.

          Japan want’s to build their own F-35’s. They don’t want to be a Number on a Meal Ticket, waiting for their Number to be Called…

  • Rob C.

    Glad they finally got their second ship, hopefully they’ll be able fully utilize the ships. I do wonder if they Jump-Ramps will need to be modified to handle F-35Bs if they do indeed buy them. Heat from the aircraft is pretty bad on the tarmat.

  • RH

    The Aust. govt is considering the F-35B, and news is expected on that front in the Defence White Paper and/or Defence Capability Plan due for release in Aug/Sept. Any decision to that effect is likely to be made in 2020.

    The air group capacity is actually about 26 to 28, not 18. That figure is just hangar capacity for large helos.

    • old guy

      COMMENT As G&S wrote,”Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream.”
      A test pilot said that the F-35 was outperformed by an F-16 “in close-up, high maneuvering fighting.”“ DellaVedova, of the F-35 project office countered,” The F-35’s technology is designed to engage, shoot and kill its enemy from long distances, not necessarily in visual ‘dogfighting’ situations.”stressed, “The F-35 of today is not what the F-35 will be in the coming years.”

  • old guy

    Terrific LHD. Notice the jump deck, the EZ well deck and the 27K ton displacement. Built by Spanish savvy. Same A/C configuration as the Juan Carlos and Principe de Asturias. We are getting there. We just tested use of a jump deck. HEY NAVY, The cutting edge is on the sharp side!

  • Secundius

    @ FYI: 10 July 2015, Australia just announced that they are dropping out of the F/AV-35B program for their Canberra class Gator-Freighter’s…

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