Sydney could not have put on a better morning to welcome the first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), NUSHIP Canberra, into her home port at Fleet Base East.
The 27,000 tonne ship made an impressive sight as her bow cut through the harbour towards her new home.
Canberra departed BAE Systems dock yard in Williamstown, Victoria on 29 October as hundreds of Defence industry staff lined the pier to say goodbye.
In October 2012, the hull arrived in Williamstown where her superstructure was fitted and combat and communications systems installed.
The ship was handed over from contractors to the Defence Materiel Organisation earlier this month.
To be commissioned HMAS Canberra, in a formal ceremony on 28 November in Sydney, the ship will proudly enter service into the Royal Australian Navy crewed by 400 personnel from Navy, Army and Air Force.
The commissioning of HMAS Canberra is a key and major milestone in the overall project that will deliver two Canberra class LHDs and associated support systems to Navy.
Canberra is designed to be able to embark over 1,000 embarked forces along with their equipment and stores which can be landed ashore by LHD landing craft, helicopters or a combination of both.
The medical facility in Canberra is of a size and scope of which would rival some regional hospitals equipped with two operating theatres, an eight bed Critical Care Unit, and a variety of low and medium dependency beds. In addition, the medical facility has dedicated areas to accommodate pathology and radiology services, x-ray, pharmacy and dental facilities.
Canberra is designed to operate up to six helicopters at any one time on the ship’s multi-spot flight deck.
The LHDs will provide Australia one of the most capable air-land-sea amphibious systems in the world.
Imagery of the arrival is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20143301.