A group of NUSHIP Canberra personnel laid eyes on the ship they will soon call home during their first visit to Williamstown Dockyard in Victoria last week.
Most were surprised at the sheer size of Canberra and appreciated the opportunity to explore the ship for the very first time.
At 230 metres in length, 32 metres wide (beam), and the tallest mast high enough to touch the base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Canberra is an awe inspiring sight.
“It’s a lot bigger than you imagine, it’s massive on the inside as well. It’s incredible – you could get lost quite easily”, said Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Chris Carrick.
Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Jayo Stenz said he was looking forward to seeing the Operations Room and junior sailors living spaces.
“It’s pretty exciting seeing the ship for the first time. It’s bigger than I expected. The Operations Room is closed off at the moment while work continues but I’m looking forward to seeing our workspace when its finished,” Able Seaman Stenz said.
Canberra, the first of two Landing Helicopter Dock ships, is being completed by BAE Systems – Maritime, under the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) JP2048 Ph4A&B Project. Significant progress has been made with many living and catering compartments from two deck and below already completed.
Most of the work now underway is within the superstructure above the flight deck, referred to as the “island”, including the Operations Room, Bridge and the Flight Control Room.
There are currently approximately 400 contractors onboard working to a timeline that will see delivery of Canberra to the Navy from the DMO in the first quarter of 2014. Initial sea trials are due to start in the last quarter of this year.
Canberra is rotating the ship’s company through so that the team can familiarize themselves with their new ship, their workspaces and equipment. All personnel are required to undertake a comprehensive safety induction which allows them access to the ship.
Construction of the hull to the level of the flight deck, including the majority of fitting out was undertaken at Navantia’s Ferrol-Fene shipyard in north-west Spain. The hull was shipped to BAE’s Williamstown shipyard in Victoria in October last year.
Press Release, July 29, 2013; Image: Australian Navy