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Commonwealth accepts first LHD from BAE Systems

LHD signing
Melbourne Australia: The Commonwealth of Australia has accepted the first of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships, NUSHIP CANBERRA, from prime contractor BAE Systems.

The 27,000 tonne warships are the largest vessels ever constructed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and will provide the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air–land–sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.

At a ceremony to mark the signing of the acceptance certificate, Chief Executive of BAE Systems Australia, David Allott, said: “The delivery of the first LHD was a significant milestone for BAE Systems, Australian shipbuilding and international co-operation. Shipbuilding projects are long-term and it’s a credit to the organisations we worked with including the Commonwealth, Navantia, L3 and Saab and the individual project team members for their perseverance, dedication and commitment to delivering this complex and highly capable ship.”

NUSHIP CANBERRA will remain in Williamstown for a few more weeks as Navy personnel continue to move on board and conduct training and other preparations before it sails to its homeport of Sydney to be commissioned later this year.

Work is progressing on the second LHD, NUSHIP ADELAIDE, with contractor sea trials expected to commence in the second quarter of 2015.

Mr Allott said: “The delivery of NUSHIP CANBERRA involved a number of highly skilled teams across several disciplines and three continents. Our team at Williamstown comprises highly skilled tradespeople as well as those experienced in shipbuilding management, engineering, integration and testing complex systems, training and logistics support. As prime contractor we have delivered the whole package to bring this ship to life so when it enters service it will have the highest capability of any ship in the RAN.”