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Second RAN LHD begins sea trials

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 29, 2015

Tugs manoeuvre NUSHIP Adelaide into Garden Island. Sistership HMAS Canberra is pictured at right. (Paul Sadler)

The second LHD amphibious ship for the RAN, NUSHIP Adelaide, has arrived in Sydney after departing BAE Systems’ Williamstown shipyard in Melbourne to begin sea trials on June 17.

Adelaide arrived in Sydney on Friday and is due to be dry-docked so that its hull and flightdeck can be cleaned and painted. The LHD will then set sail and undertake further sea trials during the return voyage to Melbourne, where it is anticipated to arrive in mid-July.

“We will undertake approximately 240 hours of testing over 20 days to ensure all systems perform to their capability,” said Bill Saltzer, BAE Systems Australia’s director of maritime.

“Some of the trials will run concurrently, and cover everything from basic systems operations such as alarms to the ship’s manoeuvrability while at sea. We are on track to deliver NUSHIP Adelaide at the end of September this year. The ship is even more ready than HMAS Canberra was for her first sea trials, reinforcing that we have implemented lessons learned from the first of class, and we have continued to improve our productivity.”

HMAS Canberra was formally commissioned into the fleet in November. An in-depth feature article on helicopter flight trials from HMAS Canberra (known as first of class flight trials – FoCFT) appears in the July issue of Australian Aviation.

Approaching Garden Island. (Paul Sadler)
Tugs manoeuvre NUSHIP Adelaide (L01) into Garden Island. Sistership HMAS Canberra (L02) is pictured above. (Paul Sadler)



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Comments (9)

  • Chris G


    Sea trials of the 2nd RAN LHD put pressure on the ADF to acquire the F35B. Over the 30+ yrs the LHDs are in our service it is going to happen. It is interesting to compare the history of R21 CVL Melbourne in terms of technological innovation post WWII requiring new deck coatings etc to cope with heat from jet aircraft that replaced props. Also too review the debates until sistership Sydney became a troop transport. The LHDs are designed for both roles simultaneously. Anyone who thinks they are Amphibious Ships needs to read up on the recent history of the Spanish Navy and the design evolution of their warships.
    The reduction in time that the 2nd LHD01 took indicates that Australian workers when well lead can perform admirably. Turkey has commenced licenced construction of the 4th hull of this Spanish design that evolved from a USA Sea Control Ship design with 2 other hulls built in Spain as such. From the DMO report into Sirius we are aware Australian shipbuilders lack the ability to weld large sections of steel plate competitively. Whether we need to obtain and retain such skills is a matter of political will.
    With only 5 KC30As the RAAF lacks the ability to provide E7A, AP3C to P8A and fighter cover too the RAN and Army by Super Hornets, Growlers and eventually F35As across our Indian, Pacific and Southern Ocean AOs. Just as critical too the LHDs effectiveness are new AORs. The 2 short listed designs that will be built overseas on current plans repeat past mistakes like adapted civilian designs only delivering half (15yr) service lives I.e. Sirius. 2 engines connected to 1 shaft and prop I.e Westralia and Aurora Australis. Not enough container storage in an era where TEUs facilitate intermodal trade. The LHDs are designed for handling TEUs. Modern AORs need to provide more services than just oilers including carrying and loading landing craft to transport supplies between ships like the LHDs and ashore.
    The German designed Berlin/Bonn AOR selected by Canada and France’s BRAVE evolution from the Durance class (like Success built in Australia under licence) offer better prospects for the ADF. What malfunction junction committee decided on the short listed AORs?
    . It will be interesting to inspect the RANs new Helicopter and Navigation Training Corvette under construction in Vietnam when it enters service under the PPP contract. Tenix Williamstown workers built 2 Corvettes of very similar design for the RNZN that are class 1c Icebreakers too.

  • When are they coming to Brisbane for viewing , as it is a proud moment in Australian Navy History

  • Myles Dobinson


    Great news, great capability, all we need now on them is anti missile self defence systems (Phalanx and or Ram so as to be able to bolt straight on) and the F35B to give our navy and troops a reasonable air cover. if you have a look at say a Mig 29K & M’s and older Su’s we would out perform anything in this class by a long way. and they could be used from austere strips that abound in the North and West of Australia, not to mention the support they could give to our island neighbours/allies if needed who may only have small sealed strips.

  • Allan


    Good to see flat tops at fleet base East once again. It has been a long time between drinks for the RAN.

  • Raymond


    They might be flat tops, and the largest ships ever operated by the RAN, however they are classed as amphibious assault ships, not aircraft carriers. This may change in the future, if F-35B’s are ordered amongst the up to 28 additional F-35’s for Australia, which will reportably be considered in the forthcoming Defence White Paper.

  • RB


    Wouldn’t get too excited about the F-35B concept. If there’s a RAAF staff officer in favour of it then I have no idea of who he is and he’s keeping the lowest of low profiles. Trenchant opponents who will avidly scupper the concept by any means, on the other hand, are not exactly in short supply among that very same number of staff officers.

    In short, no matter if the DWP sends the concept off to detailed review, it’s really going nowhere. RAAF doesn’t want it, never has wanted it, never will want it, and that’s that. RAAF fast air staff officers don’t really do ‘purple’ in their thinking, and that’s not about to change.

  • William Marks


    Two LHDs at Garden Island…that’ll give the whingeing residents in Potts Point something more to whine about.

  • Chris


    They should have been named HMAS MELBOURNE and SYDNEY.

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