Australia’s second and final Landing Helicopter Dock Ship arrived in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, today, completing its voyage from Ferrol, Spain.
Minister for Defence David Johnston said the second LHD (to be known as HMAS Adelaide once commissioned) was transported from Spain to Australia by a Heavy Lift Ship, Blue Marlin.
Blue Marlin has taken eight weeks to travel the 10,000 nautical miles to Melbourne where it will undergo final fitting out.
“This is a significant milestone, not just for the Royal Australian Navy but for defence industry here in Melbourne,” Senator Johnston said.
“When fitting out is complete, NUSHIP Adelaide and her sister ship NUSHIP Canberra will be the biggest warships ever built for the Navy.
"Together, they will deliver a world-class amphibious capability to the Australian Defence Force which is second to none,” the Defence Minister said.
Defence Materiel Organisation Chief Executive Officer Warren King, also hailed today’s ship arrival noting Adelaide’s extensive and complex fitting out would soon get under way.
“Australian industry now commences the complex task of integrating the superstructure, combat system and communications system for delivery to Defence in late 2015,” Mr King said.
The Canberra Class LHD’s are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. They are more than 230 metres long, 27.5 metres high and will weigh around 27,500 tonnes once completed.
Each ship can carry a combined armed battle group of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and also features a 40?bed hospital.
Blue Marlin will sail to the Patrick Webb Dock where the sea fastenings will be removed.
The LHD hull will then be unloaded and moved, by tug, to the Williamstown dockyard for consolidation of the superstructure and other critical fit out work.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140207
Mark Dodd (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 560
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999