Faulty maintenance works are reportedly the reason why the Royal Australian Navy’s two Canberra-class landing helicopter docks spent the last month tied to port.
Navy chiefs are now looking into what happened during maintenance works on the $1.5 billion warships, according to the Australian Daily Telegraph, who wrote that even basic tasks like oil changes have been botched.
The engineering issues prevented both ships from taking part in cyclone Debbie relief operations in March this year.
The Navantia-built HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide have been sidelined for more than a month and officials are not sure how long it will be before the ships are operational again, the report said.
Speaking on Network Ten, Australia’s minister for defense industry Christopher Pyne said one of the helicopter docks experienced a propulsion issue during maneuvers at sea while subsequent checks revealed both ships experienced the same issue. Pyne said the problem “certainly had nothing to do with oil” but did not want to specify what exactly caused the problems.
The minister also played down reports which said the repairs could take up to six month to complete.
At 230 meters, HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Canberra are the largest ships ever built for the Australian Navy. Canberra was commissioned in 2014 and Adelaide in 2015.