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Second RAN LHD hull arrives in Australia

7th February 2014 - 13:56 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Construction of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) second Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) is making progress, with the hull arriving at Web Dock in Melbourne. The hull will be transported to Williamstown in the coming days where BAE Systems will commence consolidation work.

After departing Vigo, Spain, in December, the hull arrived at Webb Dock on the heavy lift vessel, the Blue Marlin. Once the sea fastenings are removed it will be floated off the Blue Marlin and transported by tug to Williamstown.

Bill Saltzer, director of maritime, BAE Systems Australia, said: ‘In the last few months, work has proceeded at a rapid pace in preparation for the hull’s arrival. Construction, consolidation and advance outfitting of the four sections of the superstructure has been undertaken at our Williamstown yard with fabrication of the mast modules undertaken at our Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.’

The first LHD is being prepared for sea trials, which are scheduled to commence in the coming weeks. Acceptance of the vessel by the RAN is expected to take place later in 2014.

Saltzer said: ‘The high quality output from our Williamstown and Henderson shipyards reflects the significant effort and investment BAE Systems has made in its people, facilities and processes to ensure solid performance.

‘Shipbuilding is about more than having highly skilled tradespeople capable of constructing large steel structures.  You need a workforce that is experienced in engineering, consolidating, integrating and testing complex systems and bringing them all together from a ‘whole ship’ perspective. 

‘These complex activities are what brings these warships to life and makes them capable of performing their missions.  We are doing this right now in Williamstown on this programme and in our Henderson shipyard on the ANZAC frigates.’

Mr Saltzer said the progress achieved on the LHD project to date had been the result of a both a local and global team effort across a number of organisations including Navantia, L3, SAAB and the Defence Materiel Organisation.

The Shephard News Team


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