On Wednesday, the hull of the first of the Royal Australian Navy’s two new amphibious ships, HMAS Canberra, arrived in Australia aboard Dockwise’s MV Blue Marlin, following a 13,000 nautical mile trip from Spain.
The HMAS Canberra is the first of two Landing Helicopter Docks (LHD) for the Royal Australian Navy and, upon completion, will be the largest ever warship to serve in the RAN.
The hull measures 230m long and 32m wide, making it the same length as the Rialto Tower in Melbourne.
The height from waterline to the aft mast is just 40cm lower than the deck of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
The flight deck on the LHD is as big as 24 tennis courts and could fit four ANZAC class frigates.
At full load, Canberra will displace 27,851 tonnes, making the new LHDs the largest ships to serve in the RAN.
Construction of LHD 01 began in September 2008. The first three blocks were laid down in September 2010 and the hull was launched in February 2011.
The hull was constructed in Spain by shipbuilder Navantia and has taken around nine weeks to complete the 13,000 nautical mile voyage to Australia.
HMAS Canberra will be accepted into service in 2014, followed by her sister ship HMAS Adelaide (LHD02) the following year. Upon arrival at Port Phillip Bay, the HMAS Canberra was greeted by the men and women of HMAS Cerberus on October 17, 2012.
All photos (c) Australian Royal Navy