Two LHD amphibious ships, which will be named HMA Ships CANBERRA and ADELAIDE, will provide a flexible capability boost to the RAN fleet.
To be known as the CANBERRA Class, Australia's LHDs will be capable of embarking up to 1000 troops with their tanks, vehicles and equipment, lodging them ashore via helicopters or landing craft for combat or humanitarian missions and supporting them with state-of-the-art command, medical and logistics facilities.
These ships, together with a strategic lift ship to be acquired under a separate phase of project JP2048, will replace the RAN’s existing amphibious ships, HMA Ships MANOORA, KANIMBLA and TOBRUK.
The Defence Material Organisation has worked with DCN to refine the original MISTRAL Class b-450 design. Key changes to the designs include:
• Optimisation of elevators to allow lift of helicopters with rotor blades unfolded
• 1800 sqm allocated for storage and maintenance facilities to support up to 16 helicopters per ship
• 850 sqm for command and control spaces – with accommodation of up to 150 command personnel per ship
• 750 sqm hospital facility
• Accommodation arrangements restructured from 4 berth cabins to 6 and 8 berth cabins.
The Australian variant of the MISTRAL Class LHD, which will be known as the CANBERRA Class, will provide a platform for the deployment of helicopters, landing craft, up to 1,000 soldiers, vehicles and other equipment including the Australian Army's new M1A1 Abrams tanks.
They will be equipped with state of the art Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) systems along with a fully equipped floating hospital capable of servicing a small town, comprising operating theatres, intensive care and casualty wards, pathology, radiography and dental facilities.