Navantia launched at its Ferrol facilities, the second amphibious ship for the Royal Australian Navy. The Ship’s launching lady, Mrs. Maureen Banks, as well as the Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, together with representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia, BAE Systems, SEPI and Navantia have attended the event.
Construction of the “Adelaide” started with the Steel Cutting ceremony on the 2nd of February 2010, followed by the keel laying on the 18th of February 2011.
The launch takes place four and half months earlier than the planned date. This early launch provides additional time, until early 2014, to complete the outfitting and testing of the ship, when the hull will be transported to Australia for completion and delivery by BAE Systems Australia in Williamstown.
The “Adelaide” is the second of the two amphibious ships contracted on the 23rd of November 2007 by the Commonwealth of Australia in Melbourne. The amphibious ships will be delivered by BAE Systems to the Commonwealth of Australia in 2014 and 2015.
When the hull arrives in Melbourne the complex task of marrying the superstructure, hull, combat system and communications system can commence, in preparation for delivery of the first ship to the Australian Defence Force in 2014.
The Canberra Class LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (II). When completed they will be more than 230 metres long, 27.5 metres high and weigh around 27,500 tonnes. Each ship can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and features a 40-bed hospital.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, July 5, 2012; Image: navantia