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Australian Warship Launch In Spain

  • February 18th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

canberra-ship.jpgThe first of two large amphibious assault ships for the Australian Navy, the Canberra, has been launched at the Navantia shipyard at Ferrol in Spain (17.2.11).

navy-ratings.jpgThe vessels, Canberra and Adelaide, will each be able to transport a force of 1000 troops, at the same time discharging them, with vehicles, in landing craft and also helicopters – six helicopters on deck, six below.

As well as combat roles they will be designated also for taking a lead in humanitarian work, like the tsunami relief, in the past, in Indonesia or Papua New Guinea; possibly cyclone crises along the Australian coast.

During their design and construction the two ships have had various designations, like “helicopter dock”, or “commando carrier”.

With many capabilities, they are expected to “transform the capability of the defence forces”, according to the Australian Ambassador to the European Union, Brendan Nelson, speaking on the official launch this week.

They have been scheduled for commissioning in January 2014 and June 2015, and the time frame has caused some problems for the Australian Navy, because of the run-down state of three smaller vessels currently doing similar work.

Two, HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Manoora, are not currently ready for sea on active service, described as being in “operational pause”.

The new vessels, at 27000 tonnes, dwarf predecessors like the escort carrier HMAS Melbourne.

Their namesakes include two retired FFG frigates, the Canberra scuttled as a diving reef off the coast of Victoria, the Adelaide designated for a similar role off the New South Wales Central Coast.

The cruiser HMAS Canberra was lost in action during the battle of Savo Island, in the Solomons, on 9.8.42.

A contract for the construction of two large warships, A$3-billion,  stands to provide some help for Spanish industry in economically stressful times.


Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, “Materiel and Science, Amphibious ships official keel laying ,,,”, media release, 24.1.09. Dodd, “Minister attacks navy over maintenance of its amphibious support vessels”, The Australian, Sydney, 15.2.11., (18.2.11).

Navy (Australia), Canberra, Canberra Class,, (18.2.11).

Radio Australia, Canberra Launch, 18.2.11.

Pictures   Navy (Australia)