LDH hull on way to Australia

Aug. 22, 2012 at 10:02 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The hull of the Australian navy's first Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock ship has left a Spanish shipyard for outfitting by BAE Systems.

Australian Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare announced the hull of the Canberra was being transported from the Navantia shipyard to Australia by a heavy lift ship and was expected to arrive in about seven weeks.

"On arrival in Australian waters the ship will transit to Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne and then on to the Williamstown dockyard for consolidation of the superstructure and installation of the combat and communications and navigation systems," he said. "This will be followed by sea trials," he said.

The new Canberra class LHDs will be more than 754 feet long, more than 90 feet high and will displace about 33,000 tons.

The LHDs will be able to carry more than 1,100 personnel, 100 armored vehicles and 12 helicopters.

LHD 1 is to be delivered to the Australian navy in early 2014.

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