Standard launching announcement;
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced the launch of the second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) at the Navantia shipyard in Spain.Based on the Spanish JUAN CARLOS I - its an ugly ship; but great capability for our Australian friends.
The launch represented a major milestone in the shipbuilding process and was attended by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs.
Australia is acquiring two amphibious ships for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The LHDs are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy and will provide the ADF with one of the most capable and sophisticated amphibious deployment systems in the world.
The Canberra Class LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (II). When completed they will be more than 230 metres long, 27.5 metres high and weigh around 27,500 tonnes. Each ship can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and features a 40-bed hospital.
Thing is - I that picture raises a couple of questions I can't get answers to:
1. Why is there a German flag on the bow next to the Australian flag?
2. What in the name of all that is hydrodynamically sound are those things surrounded the bulbous bow?
This will be interesting to watch over the next few years. Both of these ships have ski jumps ... but the RAN says they have no intention to have fixed wing aircraft .... OK ....
UPDATE: Via NAVSSER in comments, the video answers all questions.
Oh, BTW - Chaplain, put down the video camera, ok?