CANBERRA, Australia, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The hull of Australia's second Landing Helicopter Dock ship has arrived in Melbourne following an eight week journey from Spain aboard a heavy lift vessel.
The structure of the future HMAS Adelaide, which will be one of the two largest ships in the Royal Australian Navy, was built by Navantia of Spain and will be consolidated with ship modules by a BAE Systems Australia team at Williamstown, the Australian Department of Defense said.
"This is a significant milestone, not just for the Royal Australian Navy but for defense industry here in Melbourne," said Minister of Defense David Johnston.
Australia's Canberra-class LHDs are 754.5 feet long, about 90 feet high and more than 30,000 tons in weight. Each of the two ships will carry a combined battle group, including armored vehicles and helicopters.
Bill Saltzer, director of Maritime for BAE Systems Australia said the future HMAS Adelaide will dock at a shipyard in Williamstown shortly.
"The hull will dock at Webb Dock for a few days to have the sea fastenings removed. Once these have been removed it will be floated off the Blue Marlin (transport ship) and transported by tug to Williamstown. This operation is weather dependent however we expect to have the hull to be here at Williamstown within a week" for consolidation with its superstructure.