CANBERRA, Australia, April 24 (UPI) -- The Australian navy, in collaboration with BAE Systems, has opened a training facility for Landing Helicopter Dock ships.
The facility, in New South Wales, was officially opened by Minister for Defense Materiel Mike Kelly.
"The opening of this training facility is another example of the effective collaboration between the Defense Materiel Organization, Royal Australian Navy and BAE Systems Australia," he said.
"This facility will train over 700 ADF (Australian Defense Force) personnel to safely operate and maintain the LHDs in anticipation of acceptance by (the) navy of Australia's first LHD NUSHIP Canberra in early 2014 and the acceptance of NUSHIP Adelaide the following year."
The training facility will feature simulated training suites, LHD ship fitted equipment and classrooms.
Redevelopment of an existing government site for the training facility took six months and cost about $5.1 million.
"The facility has the potential for follow-on training and through-life support training and to manage and conduct other future training for the ADF," the Department of Defense said.