The Australian public will get a look inside Navy’s newest ship when Channel 7 airs a news story on their one-hour national news bulletin between 6pm and 7pm tonight (4 February 2014).
Journalist Nick Etchells received a tour of Australia’s first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, NUSHIP Canberra and interviewed Defence Materiel Organisation’s LHD Project Manager, Captain Craig Bourke and the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Sadleir AM.
With a ship’s company of 360 and the ability to carry over 1000 embarked forces and their supplies and equipment, the LHDs are the biggest ships ever built for Navy. Canberra is the first of two LHDs, with Adelaide to follow.
The LHD project will provide the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.
The LHDs can undertake roles to embark, transport and deploy an embarked force (Army in the case of the ADF but could equally be an allied Army or Marines), along with their equipment and aviation units, and to carry out or support humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
Canberra is berthed at BAE Systems – Maritime Dockyard in Williamstown approaching the final stages of the build before the builders start sea trials in March. The ship is scheduled to be handed over to Navy on completion of sea trials.