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July 19, 2012
SPANISH Armada Ship SPS Cantabria
will participate in a series of training
exercises in Australia from February to
The Cantabria deployment will
strengthen the bilateral relation-
ship between Spain and Australia,
as well as provide important training
and capability outcomes for both the
Spanish Armada and the RAN.
Chief of Navy VADM Ray Griggs
said the deployment was an important
activity for Navy.
"It's an innovative way of doing
business and I'm very, very pleased
about the arrangement that we've
developed with the Spanish Armada
in taking this forward," VADM Griggs
said. "The Cantabria has very many
similar systems to the LHD and the
Air Warfare Destroyer, and this will
allow a number of Navy people to
embark in the Cantabria while she is in
Australian waters and to get some very
important early training and familiar-
isation with some of those systems
before they go on to crew the LHD and
The Cantabria is a modern auxil-
iary oil replenishment ship, similar to
HMAS Success and capable of supply-
ing fuel, food, stores and ammunition
to ships under way.
This will be the longest deploy-
ment undertaken by Cantabria and will
BILATERAL RELATIONS: Spanish ship SPS Cantabria will deploy to exercises in Australia.
Navy's second LHD launched
IN SHIP SHAPE: The hull
of the second Landing
Helicopter Dock has been
launched four months
ahead of schedule.
allow the Spanish Armada to trial the
ship's full range of capabilities, includ-
ing activities involving both Cantabria
and RAN ships and helicopters.
RAN ships and helicopters
will exercise with Cantabria in the
Australian International Fleet Review
in October 2013. The deployment
will provide a unique opportunity for
Defence to undertake an assessment of
the capability offered by Cantabria as
Defence considers the replacement of
HMAS Success and Sirius.
The deployment of Cantabria will
also reduce the capability risk dur-
ing Success' next major maintenance
period in 2013. Cantabria will aug-
ment the afloat support capability of
HMAS Sirius, which is currently in
maintenance at HMAS Stirling.
Size: 230m long, 27.5m high
Capacity: 1100 personnel, 100 armoured
vehicles, 12 helicopters and a 40-bed hospital
THE BIG PICTURE
THE second of the Navy's Landing Helicopter
Docks (LHDs) successfully entered the water at the
Navantia shipyard in Spain on July 4.
Chief of Navy VADM Ray Griggs attended the
event. The LHD02, to be known as Adelaide, was
launched four months ahead of schedule.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the launch
represented a major milestone in the shipbuilding
"The LHDs are the largest ships built for the
Navy and will provide the ADF with one of the
most capable and sophisticated amphibious deploy-
ment systems in the world," Mr Smith said.
Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, as a subcontractor
to BAE Systems Australia, has constructed and is
fitting out the hulls of both amphibious ships.
The superstructure, combat and communica-
tions systems will be consolidated with the hulls
in Australia at the BAE Systems shipyard in
The arrival of the first of class, the amphibi-
ous ship hull to be known as Canberra, at BAE's
Williamstown dockyard is expected later this year
with the LHD02 sister ship, Adelaide, to follow the
When the hull arrives in Melbourne, the complex
task of marrying the superstructure, hull, combat
system and communications system can commence.
Crewed by all three services, the LHD will mark
a significant strengthening of the ADF's amphibious
capability and tri-service culture.
The first LHD is expected to be delivered to the
ADF in 2012.
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