Australia resolves landing helicopter docks propulsion issues

Royal Australian Navy photo of HMAS Canberra sailing out of Sydney Harbour

Propulsion issues that tied the Royal Australian Navy’s two landing helicopter docks to port for four months are set to be resolved this week, according to the Royal Australian Navy.

The navy said HMAS Adelaide is due to leave the dry dock at Navy’s Fleet Base East on June 27 after completing maintenance.

Once undocked, she will undergo sea trials and return to her operational capability program over the next few months.

Canberra completed initial propulsion sea trials in May, which together with advice from industry partners indicates she is able to return to sea on June 29 and will participate in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017.

Defence has been working closely with the original equipment manufacturers – BAE, Navantia and Siemens – to identify the root causes of the issues.

As previously reported, Adelaide moved into the dry dock at Navy’s Fleet Base East in May, and Defence has undertaken a range of activities including access to, and a detailed inspection of the propulsion pods, defect rectification and maintenance.

The docking and inspection of Adelaide identified wear in some bearings in the port pod which is assessed to be the likely cause of oil contamination.

The propulsion system of Canberra has been recertified for seagoing operations with minor restrictions in place until her planned docking in 3rd quarter of 2017.

Both ships are expected to return to full service before the end of the year following these periods of defect rectification, maintenance and trials.

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