HMAS Adelaide L01
“Landing Helicopter Dock” | Canberra Class
HMAS Adelaide (L01) is the second of two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships under construction for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Construction of the ship started at Navantia’s Spanish shipyard with steel-cutting in February 2010. The ship was laid down in February 2011, and launched on 4 July 2012. Delivery to Australia for fitting out at BAE Systems Australia’s facilities in Victoria was scheduled for 2013, but did not occur until early 2014. Despite construction delays and predictions that the ship would not be in service until 2016, fitting out progressed faster than expected, and the ship was commissioned in December 2015.
General and specialized information
|HMAS Adelaide||Canberra Class||L01||Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)||BAE Systems Australia and Navantia|
|Cost||Laid down||Commanding Officer||Commissioned||Launched|
|$N/A||February 18, 2011||Captain Paul Mandziy||December 4, 2015||October 9, 2006|
|January 10, 2009||Fleet Base East||United for the common good||N/A||Active – January 2017|
|Class and type:||Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Dock|
|Displacement:||27,500 tonnes (30,300 short tons; 27,100 long tons) at full load|
|Length:||230.82 m (757.3 ft)|
|Beam:||32.0 m (105.0 ft)|
|Draft:||7.08 m (23.2 ft)|
|Range:||9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Boats & landing|
|4 × LLC|
Systems and Armament
|Complement:||358 personnel; 293 RAN, 62 Australian Army, 3 RAAF|
|Giraffe AMB radar, Saab 9LV combat system|
|Aviation facilities:||Flight deck with 13 degree ski-jump, 6 in-line deck landing spots|
HMAS Adelaide (III) – Design
The Canberra-class design is based on the warship Juan Carlos I, built by Navantia for the Spanish Navy. The contract was awarded to Navantia and Australian company Tenix Defence following a request for tender which ran from February 2004 to June 2007, beating the enlarged Mistral-class design offered by the French company Direction des Constructions Navales. Adelaide has the same physical dimensions as Juan Carlos I, but differs in the design of the island superstructure and the internal layout, in order to meet Australian conditions and requirements. Unlike the Spanish vessel, the Australian ships are built to meet Lloyd’s Naval Rules.
The Canberra-class vessels are 230.82 metres (757.3 ft) long overall, with a maximum beam of 32 metres (105 ft), and a maximum draught of 7.08 metres (23.2 ft). At full load, Adelaide will displace 27,500 tonnes (27,100 long tons; 30,300 short tons), making the Canberra-class ships the largest vessels to serve in the RAN. Propulsion is provided by two Siemens 11-megawatt (15,000 hp) azimuth thrusters, each with an onboard electric motor, driving two 4.5-metre (15 ft) diameter propellers. The electricity is provided by a Combined diesel-electric and gas system, with a single General Electric LM2500 turbine producing 19,160 kilowatts (25,690 hp), supported by two MAN 16V32/40 diesel generators, each providing 7,448 kilowatts (9,988 hp). Maximum speed is over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), with a maximum sustainable full-load speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph), and an economical cruising speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). Economical range is 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi).
Each ship is fitted with a Saab 9LV Mark 4 combat management system. The sensor suite includes a Sea Giraffe 3D surveillance radar, and a Vampir NG infrared search and track system. For self-defence, the LHDs will be fitted with four Rafael Typhoon 25 mm remote weapons systems (one in each corner of the flight deck), six 12.7 mm machine guns, an AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy, and a Nulka missile decoy. Defence against aircraft and larger targets is to be provided by escort vessels and air support from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The ships’ companies will consist of 358 personnel; 293 RAN, 62 Australian Army, and 3 RAAF.
The LHDs will transport 1,046 soldiers and their equipment. Adelaide will be capable deploying a reinforced company of up to 220 soldiers at a time by airlift. Two vehicle decks (one for light vehicles, the other for heavy vehicles and tanks) have areas of 1,880 square metres (20,200 sq ft) and 1,410 square metres (15,200 sq ft) respectively, and between them can accommodate up to 110 vehicles. The well deck will carry up to four LHD Landing Craft, which can be launched and recovered in conditions up to Sea State 4. The flight deck can operate six MRH-90-size helicopters or four Chinook-size helicopters simultaneously, in conditions up to Sea State 5. A mix of MRH-90 transport helicopters and S-70B Seahawk anti-submarine helicopters will be carried: up to eight can be stored in the hangar deck, and the light vehicle deck can be repurposed to fit another ten. The ski-jump ramp of Juan Carlos I has been retained for the RAN ships, although fixed-wing flight operations are not planned for the ships.
Construction of Adelaide began at Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol, northern Spain, during February 2010, when the first steel was cut. Hull modules were fabricated at Ferrol and Fene, with the first hull blocks laid down on 18 February 2011. Adelaide‘s hull was launched on 4 July 2012. Initially, the ship was due to reach Australia in early 2013 to begin final fitout and superstructure installation at BAE Systems Australia facilities in Victoria, but this did not occur.[clarification needed] The hull was loaded onto Blue Marlin on 10 December 2013 in Vigo Bay. Blue Marlin and Adelaide arrived at Williamstown on 7 February 2014. On 17 June 2015, Adelaide departed from Williamstown to commence sea trials, which included sailing to Sydney for docking at Garden Island, before returning to Williamstown on 11 July. A second set of trials ran from 19 to 28 August, and the ship was delivered to Fleet Base East two days later.
Entry into RAN service was originally planned for mid-2015, but as of July 2011, this had been pushed back to sometime in 2016. Fitting out of the ship progressed at a faster rate than expected, which brought the predicted commissioning date back to September 2015, although this did not eventuate. The ship was formally handed over to the ADF on 22 October, and was commissioned into the RAN on 4 December. Although identified as “LHD02” during construction, Adelaide received the pennant number “L01” on commissioning; the number corresponding to that used by the frigate of the same name.
In early 2016, Adelaide undertook post-commissioning trials and other activities as the ship was worked up to full operational status.
In September 2016, Adelaide took part in Exercise Kakadu 2016, based at Darwin, Northern Territory.
In December 2016, HMAS Adelaide boarded a foreign commercial vessel in international waters off Hobart on suspicion of illicit drug involvement. It escorted the vessel up the Derwent river where a “significant quantity” of illicit substances were found. A later report confirmed that cocaine worth $60 million was on board.
- Brown, Spanish designs are Australia’s choice for warship programmes
- Borgu, Capability of First Resort?, pp. 5-6
- Fish, First Australian LHD takes shape
- Fish, Amphibious assault ships
- Royal Australian Navy, Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)
- Amphibious Ships, in Semaphore, p. 2
- Defense Industry Daily, Australia’s Canberra class LHDs
- Kerr, Amphibious Ambitions
- Gillis, Interview. Landing Helicopter Dock Project – Canberra Class, pp. 28–9
- Borgu, Capability of First Resort?, p. 11
- Fish, Australia awaits new LHDs for amphibious uplift
- “Launch of second Amphibious Ship Landing Helicopter Dock”. Royal Australian Navy. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- “Navantia botá el último megabuque en construcción”. La voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 4 July 2012.
- Otero, A. (11 December 2013). “Perfecto embarque de un coloso del mar”. Faro de Vigo (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- “Adelaide LHD hull arrives in Melbourne”. Australian Aviation. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Rahmat, Ridzwan (22 June 2015). “RAN’s second Canberra-class LHD sails for first sea trials”. IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Durrant, Patrick (10 July 2015). “Second LHD completes initial sea trials”. Australian Defence Magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- Staples, Natalie (4 December 2015). “HMAS Adelaide enters service”. Navy Daily. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- Rice, Deborah (30 October 2015). “Adelaide warship arrives at Garden Island in Sydney, ahead of commissioning”. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- “On the way to Australia”. Navy News. Royal Australian Navy (Directorate of Defence News). 55 (16): 5. 30 August 2012.
- Fish, Tim (5 February 2010). “Steel cut for second Australian LHD”. Jane’s Navy International.
- “Alleged drug ship’s Chinese crew arrested”. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- “Cocaine haul on Chinese ship nabbed off Tasmania valued at $60m”. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
HMAS Adelaide Landing Helicopter Deck (LHD) Inside / outside look
Navantia is contracted to construct the hulls from 104 ‘blocks’ or ‘modules’, which are fabricated individually at Navantia’s facilities in Ferrol and Fene, then combined on the slipway at the Ferrol shipyard. The Canberras will be built up to the flight deck, launched, then transported by heavy lift ship to Williamstown, Victoria, where the installation of the island superstructure and the internal fitout of the hull is to be completed by BAE Systems Australia (which acquired Tenix in mid-2008).
Construction of Canberra began in September 2008, when the first steel was cut. The first three blocks were laid down on 23 September 2010. The hull was launched on 17 February 2011. Canberra is expected to arrive at Williamstown in October 2012, with the ship predicted to commission into the RAN in January 2014.
Work on Adelaide began during February 2010, when the first steel was cut. The first hull blocks were laid down on 18 February 2011, and Adelaide was launched on 4 July 2012. She is due to arrive in Australia for superstructure completion and fitting out in early 2013. Entry into RAN service was originally planned for mid-2015, but as of July 2011, this had been pushed back to sometime in 2016.