Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today provided an update on the $3 billion Landing Helicopter Ship (LHD) project.
The two Canberra Class LHDs are the largest ships ever to be built for the Royal Australian Navy.
The hulls are being constructed by Navantia in Spain with the superstructures and integration work being done by BAE Systems at their Williamstown Shipyard in Melbourne.
Work on the first ship, HMAS Canberra, is progressing on schedule.
All 105 blocks that make up the hull of the first ship have been constructed and the hull is now complete.
It is currently undergoing final fit out with the installation of hospital, storeroom and accommodation facilities.
The hull is expected to depart from Spain in July 2012 to be transported via heavy lift ship to Melbourne, where it is expected to arrive in August 2012.
In June this year, work began on the four superstructure and three mast blocks at the Williamstown Shipyard.
The superstructure and hull are expected to be consolidated in Melbourne in late 2012.
Work on the second ship, HMAS Adelaide, is progressing ahead of schedule.
The keel was laid in February and so far 60 of the 105 blocks have been erected on the slipway.
Of the remaining blocks, 27 are currently in construction and final fit-out and 18 are in final paint and fit-out prior to moving to the slipway.
The hull is expected to be launched in Spain in the third quarter of 2012.
More than 400,000 hours of labour have been worked on the LHD so far this year in Australia.
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.
Each ship can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and features a 40-bed hospital.
Mr Smith’s Office: Ellen Shields (02) 6277 7800 or 0400 347 473
Mr Clare’s Office: Korena Flanagan (02) 6277 7620 or 0418 251 316
Department: (02) 6127 1999