Australian Navy LHD HMAS Adelaide returns to flight trials after dry docking

A S-70B-2 Seahawk and a MRH90 Taipan helicopter conduct deck landings aboard HMAS Adelaide. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

After a period of dry docking in Sydney to resolve propulsion issues, Royal Australian Navy’s landing helicopter dock HMAS Adelaide took to sea starting flight trials in July.

Whilst in dock, Adelaide was subjected to a detailed inspection and renewal of her propulsion pods. Navy also took the opportunity to rectify a number of minor defects and routine engineering tasks.

“It was a very busy period for the ship’s engineering departments and the rest of the ship’s company,” said Commander Engineering, Commander Ben Hurst.

“We worked closely with our suppliers, BAE Systems, Navantia, Siemens, Thales, and all of us were united in bringing the ship to a state arguably better than when she was commissioned,” he said.

Prior to sailing, Adelaide completed several harbour trials, various departmental audits and was subject to the Seaworthiness Assurance Board process to ensure the ship was ready to put to sea.

Whilst at sea, Adelaide achieved her aviation sea safety assessment, which enables her to safely conduct helicopter operations during the day and at night. This was a vital step in renewing the skills of the aviation crews onboard. The assessment was conducted with aircraft and crew from 6 Aviation Regiment and 808, 816 and 725 Squadrons.

Commanding officer, Captain Jonathan Earley, said the ship is well on track to achieve full mission capability status in the near future.

“There has been a tremendous amount of time and effort invested by both ship’s company and various stakeholders ashore, which has enabled Adelaide to safely return to sea,” Captain Earley said.

“We are achieving what we need to at sea and I expect to be ready in all respects when we sail for a three-month deployment early next month”

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