australian aviation logo

Investigation into LHD propulsion problems continues

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 22, 2017
HMAS Adelaide rests on blocks within the Captain Cook graving dock. (Defence)

Canberra class amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra has returned to sea to conduct trials off Sydney to test interim repairs made to the ship’s propulsion pods.

Meanwhile, sister ship HMAS Adelaide has entered the Captain Cook graving dock for a docking that includes a close inspection of its propulsion pods, defect rectification and maintenance.

A propulsion problem was identified aboard Canberra during helicopter flight trials in March.

Fairfax Media reported that “fundamental design flaws” could be behind the problems, following a briefing by Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, although this is still under investigation.

HMAS Adelaide will miss Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017 but Canberra could still take part, according to the report.

HMAS Canberra sails out of Sydney Harbour. (Defence)

Comments (8)

  • Nicholas


    Given these are a proven Spanish design how can this be happening?

    Or did we “customise” them to use that dreaded word?

  • Paul


    If you read all the reports, the hull and propulsion systems are the same as the Spanish design, Juan Carlos I. In the media today, Vice Admiral Barrett is quoted “Despite being commissioned in 2010, it has done less sea time than the newer Canberra or Adelaide”. The suggestion now is that there could be design flaws with the azi-pods, that seems to have resulted after extended use. When these are remedied, the RAN will have a very capable asset.
    The “customisation” (to Australian requirements) was to the Combat and Communications systems.

  • Harry


    Beat me to it Paul

  • Steve


    Remember HMAS Choules developed problems in its electric propulsion system that had not yet occurred in its RN sister ships. But the HMAS Choules was first of class and had probably done more sea time than its UK sisters.

  • Craigy


    HMAS Choules also had to be modified to operate in the Indian Ocean. The high water temp affects the cooling system for the engines. The RN found out they had problems when a sister ship was sailing in the Caribbean and the engines were over heating. Interestingly, the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice has the same problems with engine cooling when sailing in warmer waters.

  • Mick181


    Also Craigy the British are having major problems operating the Darings in warmer waters.

  • Richard


    Well it seems that, from what the Navy says at the moment, it might be a case of design flaw and not the fault of the navy.

    We will have to wait and see. I hope we receive the plain unvarnished truth of the matter from the Navy.

    Does the USN use the pod method of propulsion and if not what is the reason? Should we be building navy ships to merchantile standards as with the LHD or only to naval standards?

    We should be equipping the RAN with proven designs. – it appears from what the Navy says that the equivalent Spainish ship had very little sea time.

    How are the AW destroyer sea trials going?

  • MikeofPerth


    Is the navy still planning to fit up to 3 x Phalanx CIWS per LHD next year? How is the design for that progressing?

Leave a Comment to MikeofPerth Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.