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October 15, 2009
CHIEF of Navy, VADM Russ
Crane, AM, CSM, RAN, was on
hand to witness what he said was
one of the most significant events
for Navy in decades.
"This is a very exciting moment,"
CN said. "These ships will deliver
an amphibious warfare capability
superior to any the ADF has ever had
before. And it's only about two post-
ing cycles away."
During the ceremony, CN placed
a small Australian gold coin in the
keel. The ancient tradition dates back
to Roman times and is said to bring
the vessel luck. The five dollar coin
is marked with the Platypus -- a fit-
ting symbol for an amphibious ship.
The new Canberra Class ships
will be named HMAS Canberra and
The LHDs will not only
provide new career
opportunities for Navy
members, they will also
improve the way Navy
operates with the rest
of the ADF.
-- CN, VADM Russ Crane
"The LHDs are already forcing
us to re-think some of the ways we
"The New Generation Navy ini-
tiative is regularly calling on us to
work smarter not harder -- if you
needed a reason why, this is it!"
The project is on schedule with
the ceremony for the keel laying of
the hull for LHD 01 occurring exact-
ly one year to the day from first steel
After completion of the hulls for
the amphibious ships they will be
transported to Australia. The super-
structures will then be constructed,
fitted out and integrated with the
hulls at BAE Systems' Williamstown
The combat system will be pro-
vided by Saab Systems Australia,
which will also integrate the combat
management system, while the com-
munications system will be supplied
by L-3 Communications.
The next milestone will be the
launch of LHD 01 in Spain in March
2011 and its arrival at Williamstown
dockyard in 2012 with LHD 02
arriving in 2014.
Navy capability leaps forward
Navy's capability has taken a major leap forward with the laying of
the keel for Australia's first amphibious ship (LHD) at Navantia's
shipbuilding yard in Ferrol, Spain. LCDR Fenn Kemp reports.
LHDs at a glance
The total amphibious capa-
bility will provide a com-
bined arms battle group of
more than 2000 personnel,
providing landing force, heli-
copter operations, logistics,
command and intelligence,
as well as other supporting
Each ship will be able to
carry around 100 armoured
vehicles, including M1A1
tanks and 200 other vehi-
They'll have hangar space
for at least 12 helicopters
and an equal number of
landing spots to allow a
company group to be simul-
taneously lifted and pro-
There will be 45 days
endurance for crew and
embarked force including
sustainment, medical, rotary
wing and operational main-
tenance and repair support
to these forces while ashore
for 10 days.
They'll facilitate command
and control of the land,
sea and air elements of an
amphibious task force.
They'll be able to conduct
simultaneous helicopter and
watercraft operations in a
wide range of environmen-
They'll have a hospital facil-
ity comprising two operating
theatres, high, medium and
dental, x-ray, pharmacy and
SPECIAL MOMENT: Chief of Navy VADM Russ Crane places a gold coin in the
keel of Navy's first LHD at Navantia's shipbuilding yard in Ferrol, Spain.
HARD AT WORK: (Above)
Navantia workmen lay the
keel of Australia's first LHD.
INSET: Chief of Navy VADM
Russ Crane is joined by
Navantia executives in a
ribbon-cutting ceremony to
mark the special occasion
in Ferrol, Spain.
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