This was the first time that the two LHDs and the single LSD of the RAN have operated together at sea. The event occured during a Force Integration Training off the east coast of Australia.
The Canberra-class Amphibious Assault Ship, also known as a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), provides the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world. These 27,000 tonne ships are able to land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.
The largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy, the LHDs were built as a collaboration between Navantia and BAE Systems.
HMAS Choules (L100) is a Bay-class landing ship dock (LSD) that served with the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) from 2006 to 2011, before being procured by the Royal Australian Navy.
HMAS Choules is a highly operational 16,000 tonne ship, 176 metres long, 24 metres wide, and capable of carrying over 300 troops, 23 Abrams tanks, 150 light Trucks, LCVP, Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM8) and is also capable of operating Navy helicopters including the MRH-90 Taipan and Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk and the Australian Army’s S-70A Black Hawk. Choules was commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy in December 2011.
The Australian Defence Force is conducting maritime task group training off Australia’s east coast and northern waters ahead of resuming major activities in the second half of the year.
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