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Feature 6 | AMPHIBIOUS VESSELS
First steel cut for Australia’s LHD
programme
Work on the first of Australia’s new multipurpose amphibious ships
(ALHDs) commenced at Spanish shipbuilder Navantia’s Fene-Ferrol yard
towards the end of September 2008.
A
formal steel cutting event saw
The ALHD
two plates, weighing a combined
provides landing
5.37tonnes, cut for the first
space for six
two hull blocks (Block 311 and Block
helicopters, hangar
330) of Yard Number 213 – the nascent
accommodation,
HMAS Canberra.
garaging for
The milestone occurred some three
heavy and light
months ahead of the programme’s
vehicles, a well
Preliminary Design Review (PDR),
dock capable of
reflecting the intrinsic maturity of the
taking four large
design, according to Navantia. The
watercraft, and
company believes that the Spanish Navy’s
accommodation
Buque de Proyección Estratégica (BPE
for 1403 personnel.
– strategic projection ship) Juan Carlos
I, launched in March 2008 and now
fitting out at Ferrol, is effectively serving
as a first-of-class reference and risk
reduction activity.
Tenix Defence (since acquired by BAE
Systems), teamed with Navantia, was selected
for Joint Project 2048 Phase 4A/4B in June
2007. An Aus$3.1 billion (US$2 billion)
contract between the Commonwealth share of the contract is valued at €915 million integration, test and acceptance activities to
and Tenix was signed on 9 October 2007, (US$1.1 billion). be conducted in Australia. Saab Systems has
becoming effective in late November that The construction strategy will see the been awarded an Aus$105 million contract
year. The two ships, to be named Canberra ALHD hulls (from keel to flight deck) built to design, develop, and integrate the 9LV
and Adelaide, are programmed for acceptance by Navantia at its Ferrol and Fene shipyards, 454 Mk3E combat management system and
in early 2014 and mid-2015 respectively. with the consolidated platform transported Sea Giraffe AMB radar into the LHD design.
The ALHD design solution provides to Australia on a heavy-lift barge. Dockwise The ships’ integrated communications
landing space for six helicopters, hangar Shipping has been contracted by Navantia suite, including all external and internal
accommodation, garaging for heavy and for the transport of the 231m hulls to communication subsystems, Maritime
light vehicles, a well dock capable of taking Williamstown, Melbourne, on the deck of Tactical WAN, IT networks, CCTV, data
four large watercraft, and accommodation for the semi-submersible transport vessel Blue links, entertainment and training subsystems
1403 personnel. It will also provide command, Marlin. The hull of Canberra is due to be and the broadcast and alarm system, will be
control and communications facilities for the shipped in mid-2012, and that of Adelaide in provided by L-3 Communications.
embarked force. early 2014. Although the ALHD will be essentially
Navantia, as partner and prime Construction of the superstructure and its similar in design to the Spanish Navy’s BPE,
subcontractor to prime contractor BAE consolidation to the hull will be performed save certain detail design differences in
Systems Australia, is taking responsibility by BAE Systems Australia at its Williamstown operations and accommodation spaces,
for the design of the 27,500ton displacement yard. BAE Systems will also undertake the Navantia is introducing a number of
vessels, construction of the platform itself final outfit, set-to-work, docking and trials. process and sequencing changes for the
(minus the superstructure), and the supply The superstructure block will host Australian programme.
and integration of key equipments including command, control and communications For example, while the Australian vessels
engines and the platform control system. Its systems, with all combat system engineering, will be assembled from 111 blocks and 72
Warship Technology January 2009 39
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