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Hull for new LHD Australia-bound

CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The second hull for a new class of amphibious ship has left a Navantia shipyard in Spain for Australia.

Minister of Defense David Johnston said the hull's journey – aboard a heavy lift ship -- from Navantia's shipyard in Vigo to Australia will take eight weeks and will be followed by consolidation of the future HMAS Adelaide's superstructure and installation of systems by BAE Systems.

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"The Canberra Class LHDs (Landing Helicopter Dock) are the largest ships ever built for the Navy and will provide the Australian Defense Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated amphibious deployment capabilities in the world," he said.

"The departure of LHD02 from Vigo en route for Australia marks another major milestone for the Defense Materiel Organization, Royal Australian Navy and the prime contractor, BAE Systems."

When completed the LHDs will be more than 754 feet long, 88 feet high and weigh about 33,000 tons.

BAE Systems is expected to deliver the ship to the Royal Australian Navy in 2015.

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