Solutions at Sea - LHD

The LHD Ships will enable the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to exploit the synergy derived from combining sea, air and ground forces in the littoral manoeuvre space. The LHD will permit the ADF to apply unified effects at a time and place of political choice, entirely independent of shore infrastructure.

BAE Systems will deliver two Canberra Class LHD ships between 2014 and 2015 under Joint Project 2048 Phase 4A/4B - the LHD component of the Amphibious Deployment and Sustainment capability.

As the Prime Contractor and leader in naval systems integration, amphibious platforms and capability, BAE Systems will manage the overall project in close cooperation with subcontractors Navantia, Saab and L-3 Communications.

BAE Systems Australia is responsible for: Integrated Logistic Support; Systems Engineering; Zone 8 Fabrication; Ship Consolidation; Systems Integration and Test, Trials and Commissioning. The following activities will be conducted at our Williamstown shipyard:

  • Building the superstructure blocks (total 500t per ship);
  • Consolidation of the superstructure Blocks to the Hull;
  • Completion of the ship outfit;
  • Sea Trials, acceptance tests and handover;
  • Hull, Platform, Combat and Communications integration in the ships; and
  • Combat and communications Integration in the Land Based Test Site.

Construction of the hull to the level of the flight deck, including the majority of the fit out is being undertaken at Navantia's Ferrol-Fene shipyard in north-west Spain. The hull will then be shipped to Williamstown for the installation of the island structure.

The island modules are being constructed at two BAE Systems locations in Australia before being consolidated at Williamstown.



  • The LHD is a multibillion dollar shipbuilding project
  • The project involves approximately 850,000 design hours and 5.5 million build hours
  • The LHD’s are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy
  • The LHD is 230.8m in length. If stood on its stern, it would be 20m shy of the Rialto Towers in Melbourne.
  • The LHD has crew and embarked force accommodation for 1403 people.

For more information, please visit the  Mighty Ships feature page.