On Monday, Australia’s second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship departed the Navantia Ferrol Dockyard in Spain for a short trip south to Vigo, where she will be loaded onto the Dockwise Heavy Lift Ship (HLS) Blue Marlin for transit to Australia.
Weather permitting, Blue Marlin is scheduled to depart before Christmas and is expected to arrive at the BAE Systems shipyard in Williamstown in February 2014.
BAE will continue work on the LHD until it is ready to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. Once delivered, the second LHD will be commissioned HMAS Adelaide.
Loading of the LHD 02 hull onto the Blue Marlin is planned to commence between December 9 and 16. Once loaded in the transit cradle on Blue Marlin’s stern, sea fastenings and scantlings will be fitted to secure the LHD hull for the transit from Spain to Australia.
LHD02 is the second of two Landing Helicopter Docks, also known as Amphibious Assault Ship’s, being built for the Royal Australian Navy. The 27,000 tonne ships will be able to land a force of over 2,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.
The LHD project will provide the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.
Press Release, December 05, 2013; Image: Australian Navy