Adelaide LHD hull arrives in Melbourne – UPDATE

The hull of the RAN’s second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD02) has arrived in Melbourne from Navantia’s Ferrol shipyard in Spain.

The hull of LHD02 arrives in Melbourne aboard the MV Blue Marlin. (Defence)
The hull of LHD02 arrives in Melbourne aboard the MV Blue Marlin. (Defence)

Like the LHD01 (NUSHIP Canberra) before it, the hull of LHD02 – which will be named HMAS Adelaide in RAN service – was transported from Spain on the heavy lift ship MV Blue Marlin. The hull will be floated off the Blue Marlin and moved into BAE’s Williamstown shipyard next week where it will be fitted out with its island superstructure and internal spaces equipment.

“In the last few months, work has proceeded at a rapid pace in preparation for the hull’s arrival,” Director of Maritime for BAE Systems Australia, Bill Saltzer said in a statement. “Construction, consolidation and advance outfitting of the four sections of the superstructure has been undertaken at our Williamstown yard with fabrication of the mast modules undertaken at our Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.”

In the meantime, NUSHIP Canberra is expected to commence sea trials next month and will be accepted by the RAN towards the end of the year. The vessel has effectively been completed and has successfully conducted a number of vehicle load trials to validate the vessel’s vast storage and operational spaces.



  1. says

    When in service, yes. But according to the manufacturer’s release, they are currently being referred to as LHD01 & LHD02.

  2. Tim Cheney says

    Forgive me for missing somthing – but why is there a ski jump on the bow when the RAAF have ordered the “A” model of the F-35.

    Have the RAN ordered the F-35B?

  3. says

    The ramp on the LHDs was a standard option on the Juan Carlos I class the Canberra & Adelaide are based on. The ramp would have been an expensive engineering exercise to delete, without any gain in helo spots. The RAAF is ordering F-35As only at this stage, but why not retain the option to operate our own F-35Bs or at least cross-deck with USMC/RN F-35Bs in the future?

  4. Allan says

    It is good to see the navy with flat tops again. For a country like ours not to have a carrier capability for so long has been an oversight of the greatest magnitude. Still any capability to enhance our Fleet Air operations has to be a positive outcome. As far as F-35B`s go who knows what the Navy and government have planned. An organic fighter capability would be the final piece of the jigsaw for the fleet.

  5. GlenCBR says

    Sad coincidence that this story comes to us on the 50th anniversary of the Voyager/Melbourne disaster. An incident that contributed to effectively put an end to our (winged-aircraft) carrier capability.

  6. Greg says

    Is there any reported issues with the RAN manning these vessels ?

    Is there enough trained crew to keep both these vessels fully operational ?

  7. says

    Probably a bit too soon to tell yet, but they don’t need a huge crew considering their size.

  8. Peter says

    With the rapid pace of developments in UAV technology, you’d be more likely to see these launching on the ski ramp than F-35Bs. In both amphibious assault capacity and also emergency relief ( think recent Phillipines, Acheh, Japan and South Pacific Islands RAN assistance ), RAN UAVs would be cheaper to run, could stay on station longer and are certainly more stealthy than embarked helios. Just need to install some trap wires to catch them at their end of mission. Two or three per LHD, with folding wings, they’d take up less room than 1 MRH-90 when stored below deck. Fitted with FLIR, DTV etc and with the ADF’s growing experience with Herons, should be a no-brainer.

  9. says

    The RAN is already looking at UAVs from these and other vessels…think catapult and skyhook type launch and retrieve systems. 😉

  10. RobM says

    I’m curious as to the reasons behind GlenCBRs suggestion that the Melbourne/Voyager collision contributed to the demise of carrier operations by the RAN. Neither of the collisions with the Voyager and Frank E Evans were the fault of the Melbourne and that type of incident is still a possibility today when a smaller vessel manoeuvres into Rescue Destroyer position during carrier operations. Having spent quite some time on the bridges of RAN vessels, including the Melbourne, I’ve seen quite a few near misses during fleet ops that would have made spectacular headlines had a collision occurred.