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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2009
28 naVY SuPPLY nEWSLEttER autumn 2009 the Canberra Class – two Capital Ships by 2015 On 2 September 2007, the Commonwealth of Australia signed a contract with Tenix Defence Pty Ltd (now known as BAE Systems Australia Defence), for the supply of two 27,000 tonne Amphibious Ships, or LHD (LandingHelicopter-Dock) to be known as the Canberra Class. This article will provide a brief overview of the Amphibious ship project and the capability the LHD ships will provide to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). the LHd Project The acquisition of the LHD ships is being administered by Joint Project (JP) 2048 Phase 4A/4B under the Defence Materiel Organisation’s Amphibious Deployment and Sustainment Program. JP2048 Phase 4A/4B will replace one of the LPAs and HMAS TOBRUK. the Contract The acquisition contract between the Commonwealth and BAE Systems covers the build of the two ships and the initial Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) products, but does not include an In Service Support contract. BAE Systems has subcontracted the Spanish builder and designer Navantia to construct and fit out the hulls and transport them to Williamstown Dockyard in Melbourne. BAE Systems will construct and fit out the superstructures at Williamstown, and will then integrate them into the hulls. BAE Systems has subcontracted SAAB Systems Australia to supply the combat system and integrate it with the combat management system, and L-3 Communications to supply and integrate the communications system. Navantia is expected to be the design authority for the planned 40-year life of the ships. As the design is to commercial standards, Navantia has subcontracted Lloyds Register of Shipping as the classification authority. Contract Schedule The first steel was cut on 23 September 2008. The hull of LHD1 (HMAS CANBERRA) is scheduled to arrive at Williamstown in July 2012 for fitting out, with acceptance into service planned around January 2014. LHD2 hull (HMAS ADELAIDE) is due to arrive at Williamstown in February 2014, with acceptance into service planned for August 2015. Operational release is expected in late 2016. the Capability The Amphibious Ship Project will provide the ADF with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world. The two LHDs will be able to land a force of more than 2000 personnel by helicopter and watercraft, along with their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores and sustain this force for an initial period. The ships will also allow the ADF to provide large-scale humanitarian assistance in time of natural disasters. For instance, each LHD will be able to provide three times the assistance HMAS KANIMBLA was capable of providing after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. The LHD ship statistics are shown at Table 1. The LHDs are all-electric ships with the two diesel engines and one gas turbine producing electricity to run the two electric propulsion pods and all the ship systems. The electric pods rotate through 360 degrees when at slow speed, providing excellent manoeuvrability for a ship this size. The operation and maintenance of this new technology will require new skills sets for our engineering personnel. A limit of five hours per day per person for planned and corrective maintenance will also impact on the autHoRS LCdR PEtER BaRnES, dEPutY iLS manaGER, LHd PRoJECt (JP2048 PHaSE 4a/4B) and mR GREG Lamont, iLS oFFiCER (tRaininG & PERSonnEL), LHd PRoJECt (JP 2048 PHaSE 4a/ 4B) BPE OFF SLIP INTO WATER MARCH 2008 level of maintenance able to be conducted by the ships staff, and the type of stores required to support this maintenance. Approximately 80 per cent of the ship design is common to the Spanish strategic Project Ship (or BPE), the Juan Carlos I. The “Australianised” design of the Spanish BPE reflects improvements in a number of areas to meet Australian requirements. Some of these changes include: the selection of the SAAB Australia combat system, upgrading of magazines and armouries; improved endurance loads by increasing storage capacity for spare parts and victuals; upgrading the safety and lifesaving systems and modifying the electrical and lighting systems. The ships will also comply with International Maritime Pollution (MARPOL) standards. The ADF Catering Group assisted with the redesign of the Galley, Café, Scullery and Pantry. Navy input was also provided to the design of the Canteen, Stores Management Office, Storerooms, Ship’s Office and Catering Office. The LHDs will be equipped with a Level 3 hospital with operating theatres as well as resuscitation, intensive care and high-dependency facilities. They will also be fitted with a dental surgery and consultation rooms for medical staff. Habitability has been extensively enhanced. Each LHD will have 1403 bunks for the crew, Joint HQ staff, aviation and embarked forces with