NAVANTIA loaded out the Royal Australian Navy’s second Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) “Adelaide” onto the “Blue Marlin” vessel of Dockwise yesterday at the Vigo inlet.
The ships will remain docked at Vigo Port for a week, in order to complete the “Adelaide” bindings for securing its transport to Australia, a trip which will take about 55 days.
The “Adelaide” is the second of the two amphibious ships contracted on the 23rd of November 2007 by the Commonwealth of Australia. The Canberra Class LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (II).
When completed, “Adelaide” will be more than 230 metres long, 27.5 metres high and weigh around 27,500 tonnes. The vessel can carry a combined armed battle group of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and features a 40-bed hospital.
As it happened with the first LHD “Canberra”, “Adelaide” will be transported to BAE System Australia’s shipyards at Williamstown. When the hull arrives in Melbourne the complex task of marrying the superstructure, hull, combat system and communications system can commence.
Delivery of the “Adelaide” to the Australian Defence Force is slated for 2015.
World Maritime News Staff, December 11, 2013