The hull of HMAS Adelaide, one of the two biggest ships to ever sail with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), was welcomed to Melbourne today by Premier Denis Napthine.
The Adelaide joins HMAS Canberra, which arrived here in October 2012, as part of the Landing ship Helicopter Dock (LHD) project for the Royal Australian Navy.
The Adelaide and her sister ship Canberra are each 230 metres long, weigh 27,000 tonnes and can carry 1,100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters.
They are multipurpose ships that can support disaster response and humanitarian relief missions – each containing a 40-bed hospital with two operating theatres, an intensive care ward, laboratory and X-ray facilities.
Both ships are being completed at the BAE Systems’ shipyards at Williamstown, which will involve modules for the combat, communications, and ship management systems and final fit-out of all operational compartments.
Dr Napthine said the LHD project would dramatically boost Australia’s national security and its ability to support neighbouring countries in the region.
“The complex, high-value and innovative work being undertaken on the Adelaide and the Canberra demonstrates Victoria’s strengths in defence and advanced manufacturing technologies,” Dr Napthine said.
“Our Government is committed to working with BAE Williamstown and with our defence and manufacturing industry in general to win more work on major naval projects and provide both a viable and secure future for Victoria.
“This includes planned and proposed projects such as the two Cantabria class replenishment ships, the replacement of 24 Armidale Class Patrol Boat and replacement of the Anzac Class frigates with six Future Frigates.
“The Victorian Government is working constructively with the Federal Government to ensure a strong and leading role for Victoria in these projects.
“The LHD project shows what Victorian manufacturing can deliver for our future defence needs while securing a strong and clear future for the BAE Williamstown shipyard and manufacturing supply chains across the state.”
Premier of Victoria, February 7, 2014; Image: Wikimedia