ALHD “Adelaide”, the second of two Canberra class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships under construction for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was loaded onto the “Blue Marlin” vessel of the Dutch company Dockwise at the Vigo inlet, NAVANTIA, its shipbuilder, and the Port Authority at Vigo informed yesterday.
The operation began at 12:00 am, as the ALHD “Adelaide” maneuvered for nearing and positioning above the supporting deck located at the “Blue Marlin” and ended once the above transport ship was refloated, with the ALHD “Adelaide” located on its deck.
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.
As it happened with the ALHD “Canberra”, it will be transported to BAE System Australia’s shipyards at Williamstown, where it will be completed and delivered to the Commonwealth of Australia.
The contract for the construction of two ALHD units, based on the Strategic Projection Ship ‘Juan Carlos I’ in service with the Spanish Navy, was signed in 2007, and meant the entry of Navantia into the Australian defence market.
“Today’s milestone, made in advance to the agreed deadlines, constitutes the consolidation of Navantia as a technological partner in Australia, and its positioning for future contracts with the Australian Navy,” NAVANTIA said in a release.
Currently, Navantia is also constructing 12 landing crafts for Australia and taking part, with design and technology transfer, in the construction of 3 destroyers.
- Length overall: 230.8 m
- Moulded beam:32.0 m
- Flight deck height: 27.50 m
- Maximum speed: > 20 knots
- Range: > 6,000 miles
- Crew: 243 persons
- Total personnel capacity: > 1,400 persons.
The ALHD is a multi-purpose ship, with a number of capabilities, depending on the operation which has been given to it:
Air: Helicopter Landing Dock (up to 20 aircraft)
Amphibious: Platform for troops, vehicles, landing craft (4x LCM-1E) and support equipment
Transport and projection: Capacity for transporting troops, combat vehicles and helicopters
Humanitarian relief and rescue: Capacity for transporting loads and relief and medical support equipment (help containers + a complete hospital on board)
Press Release, December 11, 2013; Image: NAVANTIA