BAE's building of helicopter dock ship progressing

April 30, 2013 at 3:48 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, April 30 (UPI) -- The Royal navy's first amphibious assault landing helicopter dock ship, the HMAS Canberra, is well on its way for delivery next year.

Minister for Defense Materiel Mike Kelly, who visited the vessel at BAE Systems Australia's shipyard in Victoria, said finalizing the ship's internal outfitting in preparation for sea trials was under way, as well as the integration of combat and communications systems and the building of large superstructures.

"There is a substantial and skilled workforce here at Williamstown of approximately 900, including BAE Systems and subcontracted planners, welders, fitters, electricians, plumbers, painters and mechanics," Kelly said. "All the trades are working steadily towards completing the first of the LHDs for delivery to (the Department of) Defense early next year," he said.

"To date BAE Systems Australia has conducted more than 680,000 hours of production work in the Williamstown Shipyard on the LHD project and plan a further 1.2 million hours before it's completed."

The Canberra class LHD is the largest ship built for the Australian navy. It will carry a crew of about 300, embark a battle group of more than 1,100 personnel, 100 armored vehicles and 12 helicopters.

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