HMAS Adelaide (L01)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMAS Adelaide.
Vigo Embarque del portaaviones HMAS Adelaide en la plataforma Blue Marlin (11308259696).jpg
The hull of Adelaide being towed across Vigo Bay on 10 December 2013, shortly before being loaded onto the heavy lift ship MV Blue Marlin
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Adelaide
Builder: Navantia, Ferrol, Spain and BAE Systems Australia, Williamstown Victoria
Laid down: 18 February 2011
Launched: 4 July 2012
Commissioned: 2016 (expected)
Homeport: To be Fleet Base East
Motto: United for the common good
Honours and
Battle honours: four inherited battle honours
Status: Under construction
Badge: Ship's badge
General characteristics
Class and type: Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock
Displacement: 27,500 tonnes (30,300 short tons; 27,100 long tons) at full load
Length: 230.82 m (757.3 ft)
Beam: 32.0 m (105.0 ft)
Draft: 7.08 m (23.2 ft)
Propulsion: Combined Diesel and Gas
1 × GE LM2500 gas turbine
2 × MAN 16V32/40 diesel generators
2 × Siemens azimuth thrusters
Speed: Over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) maximum
19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) full-load sustained
15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) economical
Range: 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Boats and landing
craft carried:
4 × LLC
Capacity: Up to 110 vehicles
Heavy vehicle deck: 1,410 m2 (15,200 sq ft)
Light vehicle deck: 1,880 m2 (20,200 sq ft)
Troops: 1,046
Complement: 358 personnel; 293 RAN, 62 Australian Army, 3 RAAF
Sensors and
processing systems:
Giraffe AMB radar, Saab 9LV combat system
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy
Nulka missile decoy
Armament: 4 × Rafael Typhoon 25 mm remote weapons systems
6 × 12.7 mm machine guns
Aircraft carried: 8 helicopters (standard)
18 helicopters (maximum hangar space)
Aviation facilities: Flight deck with 13 degree ski-jump, 6 in-line deck landing spots

HMAS Adelaide (L01) is the second of two Canberra class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships under construction for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Construction of the ship started at Navantia's Spanish shipyard with steel-cutting in February 2010. The ship was laid down in February 2011, and launched on 4 July 2012. Delivery to Australia for fitting out at BAE Systems Australia's facilities in Victoria is scheduled for 2013, and the ship is predicted to enter service by 2016.


The Canberra class design is based on the warship Juan Carlos I, built by Navantia for the Spanish Navy.[1] The contract was awarded to Navantia and Australian company Tenix Defence following a request for tender which ran from February 2004 to June 2007, beating the enlarged Mistral class design offered by the French company Direction des Constructions Navales.[1][2][3] Adelaide has the same physical dimensions as Juan Carlos I, but differs in the design of the island superstructure and the internal layout, in order to meet Australian conditions and requirements.[4] Unlike the Spanish vessel, the Australian ships are built to meet Lloyd's Naval Rules.[4]

The Canberra class vessels are 230.82 metres (757.3 ft) long overall, with a maximum beam of 32 metres (105 ft), and a maximum draught of 7.08 metres (23.2 ft).[5] At full load, Adelaide will displace 27,500 tonnes (27,100 long tons; 30,300 short tons), making her the largest vessel to serve in the RAN.[5] Propulsion is provided by two Siemens 11-megawatt (15,000 hp) azimuth thrusters, each with an onboard electric motor, driving two 4.5-metre (15 ft) diameter propellers.[5][6] The electricity is provided by a Combined diesel and gas system, with a single General Electric LM2500 turbine producing 19,160 kilowatts (25,690 hp), supported by two MAN 16V32/40 diesel generators providing 7,448 kilowatts (9,988 hp).[5] Maximum speed is over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), with a maximum sustainable full-load speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph), and an economical cruising speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).[5] Economical range is 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi).[5]

Each ship is fitted with a Saab 9LV Mark 4 combat management system.[4] The sensor suite includes a Sea Giraffe 3D surveillance radar, and a Vampir NG infrared search and track system.[4] For self-defence, the LHDs will be fitted with four Rafael Typhoon 25 mm remote weapons systems (one in each corner of the flight deck),[7] six 12.7 mm machine guns, an AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy, and a Nulka missile decoy.[5] Defence against aircraft and larger targets is to be provided by escort vessels and air support from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).[7] The ships' companies will consist of 358 personnel; 293 RAN, 62 Australian Army, and 3 RAAF.[8]

The LHDs will transport 1,046 soldiers and their equipment.[8] Adelaide will be capable deploying a reinforced company of up to 220 soldiers at a time by airlift.[4] Two vehicle decks (one for light vehicles, the other for heavy vehicles and tanks) have areas of 1,880 square metres (20,200 sq ft) and 1,410 square metres (15,200 sq ft) respectively, and between them can accommodate up to 110 vehicles.[5] The well deck will carry up to four LHD Landing Craft, which can be launched and recovered in conditions up to Sea State 4.[5][6] The flight deck can operate six MRH-90-size helicopters or four Chinook-size helicopters simultaneously, in conditions up to Sea State 5.[7] A mix of MRH-90 transport helicopters and S-70B Seahawk anti-submarine helicopters will be carried: up to eight can be stored in the hangar deck, and the light vehicle deck can be repurposed to fit another ten.[5][9] The ski-jump ramp of Juan Carlos I has been retained for the RAN ships, although fixed-wing flight operations are not planned for the ships.[8][10]


Adelaide and Spanish frigate Cristóbal Colón under construction

Construction of Adelaide began at Navantia's shipyard in Ferrol, northern Spain, during February 2010, when the first steel was cut.[4] Hull modules were fabricated at Ferrol and Fene, with the first hull blocks laid down on 18 February 2011.[11] Adelaide '​s hull was launched on 4 July 2012.[12][13] Initially, the ship was due to reach Australia in early 2013 to begin final fitout and superstructure installation at BAE Systems Australia facilities in Victoria,[8][11] but this did not occur.[clarification needed] The hull was loaded onto Blue Marlin on 10 December 2013 in Vigo Bay.[14] Blue Marlin and Adelaide arrived at Williamstown on 7 February 2014.[15] Entry into RAN service was originally planned for mid-2015, but as of July 2011, this had been pushed back to sometime in 2016.[4][11]

Although identified as "LHD02" during construction, Adelaide will receive the pennant number "L01" on commissioning; the pennant number corresponding to that used by the frigate of the same name.[16][17]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Spanish designs are Australia's choice for warship programmes
  2. ^ Borgu, Capability of First Resort?, pp. 5-6
  3. ^ Fish, First Australian LHD takes shape
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Fish, Amphibious assault ships
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Royal Australian Navy, Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)
  6. ^ a b Amphibious Ships, in Semaphore, p. 2
  7. ^ a b c Defense Industry Daily, Australia's Canberra class LHDs
  8. ^ a b c d Kerr, Amphibious Ambitions
  9. ^ Gillis, Interview. Landing Helicopter Dock Project – Canberra Class, pp. 28–9
  10. ^ Borgu, Capability of First Resort?, p. 11
  11. ^ a b c Fish, Australia awaits new LHDs for amphibious uplift
  12. ^ "Launch of second Amphibious Ship Landing Helicopter Dock". Royal Australian Navy. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Navantia botá el último megabuque en construcción". La voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 4 July 2012. 
  14. ^ Otero, A. (11 December 2013). "Perfecto embarque de un coloso del mar". Faro de Vigo (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Adelaide LHD hull arrives in Melbourne". Australian Aviation. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "On the way to Australia". Navy News (Royal Australian Navy (Directorate of Defence News)) 55 (16): 5. 30 August 2012. 
  17. ^ Fish, Tim (5 February 2010). "Steel cut for second Australian LHD". Jane's Navy International. 


Journal articles and papers
  • "Amphibious Ships". Semaphore (Sea Power Centre - Australia) 2007 (14). October 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  • Borgu, Aldo (2004). "Capability of First Resort? Australia's Future Amphibious Requirement". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  • Brown, Nick (28 June 2007). "Spanish designs are Australia's choice for warship programmes". International Defence Review. 
  • Fish, Tim (25 July 2011). "Australia awaits new LHDs for amphibious uplift". Jane's Defence Weekly (Jane's Information Group). 
  • Fish, Tim (15 June 2010). "Amphibious assault ships: Striking distance". Jane's Defence Weekly. 
  • Fish, Tim (28 September 2009). "First Australian LHD takes shape". Jane's Navy International. 
  • Gillis, Kim (2007). "Interview. Landing Helicopter Dock Project - Canberra Class". DefenceToday 6 (3): 28–29. ISSN 1447-0446. 
  • Kerr, Julian (22 December 2011). "Amphibious ambitions: expanding Australia's naval expectations". Jane's Navy International (Jane's Information Group). 
News articles
Websites and other sources