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Work beings on second Australian amphibious warship

A model of the second Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Adelaide. A Royal Australian Navy Photo

SYDNEY (BNS): Work has begun on Australian Defence Force’s second amphibious warship HMAS Adelaide’s hull at the Navantia shipbuilding yard in Ferrol, Spain.

“This is a great achievement with the steel being cut by Navantia 7 weeks ahead of schedule,” Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, said as the ship’s construction work began early this week.

The Australian subsidiary of British defence firm BAE Systems has been awarded the contract to build two large amphibious ships – HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide – for the Royal Australian Navy.

The Navantia shipyard will construct the hulls of the two warships, also called or Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs), in Spain which will then be transported to Australia, the minister said.

The superstructures for the ship will be built at the BAE Systems Australia’s Williamstown dockyard. The warship will then be equipped with weapons by SAAB Group Australia.

The first of the two LHDs – HMAS Canberra – is expected to arrive in Australia in 2012 followed by the second one in 2014.

The ships are being built for the Royal Australian Navy for sophisticated air-land-sea deployment. The 27,000 tonne ships will be able to land a force of over 2,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.

The RAN expects to induct the two ships in its service by 2014-15.

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