The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has accepted the first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), NUSHIP Canberra, from contractor BAE Systems.
A ceremony took place in Canberra's hangar to mark the significance of the signing of the acceptance certificate. Senior representatives from DMO, BAE Systems and Navy attended the event.
DMO Chief Executive, Warren King, said that the acceptance of the ship was the result of well coordinated hard work across a number of agencies.
“This project is the culmination of many agencies working together to achieve the delivery of one of the most impressive Defence capabilities we have seen in recent times,” said Mr King.
Mr King acknowledged the DMO Project team, BAE Systems, Navantia and all the sub-contractors and agencies who have worked in cooperation to make the Landing Helicopter Dock a reality.
“I imagine the ship’s company of NUSHIP Canberra are very excited as they prepare to move onboard the ship,” said Mr King.
The DMO will be custodians of the ship on behalf of Defence while final preparations are made before handing over to the Royal Australian Navy in late November.
Chief Executive of BAE Systems Australia, David Allott, said the delivery of the first LHD was a significant milestone not only for BAE Systems and the Commonwealth, but also for Australian shipbuilding and international co-operation.
“This is a significant milestone for BAE Systems as the prime contractor to deliver the first of class of the largest ever warship for the Australian Defence Forces,” said Mr Allott.
“Shipbuilding projects are long term and it’s a credit to the organisations we worked with including the Commonwealth, Navantia, L3 and Saab and the individuals on the project teams for their perseverance, dedication and commitment to delivering this complex and highly capable ship,” he said.
Canberra will remain at BAE Systems dockyard in Williamstown for the next few weeks as Navy personnel continue to move on board and conduct training and other preparations before it sails to its homeport of Sydney to be commissioned later this year.
Work is progressing on the second LHD, NUSHIP Adelaide, which is berthed next to Canberra.
These 27,000 tonne ships are the largest vessels ever constructed for the Royal Australian Navy and will provide the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.
The LHD is capable of complex amphibious operations and support to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142994.