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Australia buying LHD ship from Britain

CANBERRA, Australia, April 6 (UPI) -- Australia is buying an amphibious helicopter landing dock ship from Britain for Canberra class LHD fleet, which becomes operational next year.

The ship, the Largs Bay, was commissioned into service in 2006. It became surplus to U.K. requirements as a result of the government's 2010 Defense Strategic Review.

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The ship weighs 16,000 tons and is about 577 feet long and 85 feet wide. Its flight deck has room for two large helicopters and can also carry around 150 light trucks and 350 troops.

Its cargo capacity is the equivalent of the Australian navy's entire amphibious fleet.

Australian defense officials said Largs Bay will help ensure that the navy has the amphibious capability it needs for operation and humanitarian support.

Australia is acquiring the ship for about $103 million.

The Australian navy will conduct sea trials to confirm the material state of the ship before the deal is finalized.

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