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Exclusive report: Inside HMAS Canberra (Australia's largest ever warship)
news.com.au ^ | 11th May 2013 | Ian McPhedran

Posted on 05/10/2013 9:25:11 AM PDT by naturalman1975

ON the bridge wing of the navy's newest and biggest ever warship, HMAS Canberra, the vast scale of the amphibious assault ship is dramatic and stark.

With Melbourne city silhouetted across a shimmering Port Phillip Bay, the ship's expansive 32-metre wide flight deck stretches for 203 metres as pleasure yachts bob at their moorings more than 30 metres below.

Such is the sheer size of HMAS Canberra that the antennae on top of the ship's stern mast will touch the deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

This Canberra is known as a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) and she dwarfs anything else in the Royal Australian Navy fleet. She is the first of a $3 billion two-ship build. The second, HMAS Adelaide, will arrive early next year.

It is Australian engineering and technical expertise at the BAE Systems' Williamstown shipyard that is putting the finishing touches on vessels that will alter the nation's power projection capabilities forever.

.....

Captain Sadleir says that having the levers of the nation's first truly global military capability is a huge honour.

"This is an amazing self-sufficient capability, but our biggest challenge will be understanding just what we can do with it," he says.

Navy doctrine will change significantly with the arrival of the two LHDs and three Adelaide-built Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers, the most lethal warships ever to serve in the RAN.

The two amphibious assault ships and the AWDs will be home ported at Garden Island in Sydney, but the big ships will spend a great deal of time operating with the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian regiment out of Townsville or representing the nation around the region or the world.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hmascanberra
At 27,800 tonnes, HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide are much smaller than something like a fleet aircraft carrier, but they still represent the largest ships, the RAN has ever operated (our last aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne was only about 16,000 tonnes). They represent a significant change in RAN doctrine from that of the last thirty years or so.

While there are no plans to currently exploit it, the retention of the ski jump in the design, means they do have the potential to function as small aircraft carriers in the future, pending a suitable aircraft actually becoming available. That's a capability, I'd love to see us get back - I started my naval career hoping to work on carriers and watched as a socialist government decided not to replace Melbourne abandoning even a limited power projection capability in favour of the idea that all a Navy should ever do is protect a nation's own shores, and meaning when we had to go to war (as we did in 1990, and again in 2001 and 2003) it was as a frigate Navy. At least the Canberra class send a message, that we intend to retain a blue-water navy, rather than accepting green-water status.

1 posted on 05/10/2013 9:25:11 AM PDT by naturalman1975
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To: naturalman1975

Always loved A/Cs that could or actually have sent fighters off to blow the hell out of something. Same thing for America’s big battleships - Missouri, et al. (16” of pure pounder with all the ammunition right below)....


2 posted on 05/10/2013 9:34:37 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: naturalman1975
Nice. Too bad HMAS (Her Majesty's Australian Ship) sounds so much like Hamas.

3 posted on 05/10/2013 9:37:04 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Gaffer

From the ski-jump on the bow it looks like they’re going to support F-35’s.


4 posted on 05/10/2013 9:39:38 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: naturalman1975

The Aussies are limited to building what the Chinese will allow them.


5 posted on 05/10/2013 9:41:16 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: naturalman1975

What about HMAS Australia?

22,130 Tonnes, 179.8 meters long, 24.4 meters wide, 8 12x45 guns.

OK, this new ship is bigger. But forgetting the RAN’s only battle cruiser?


6 posted on 05/10/2013 9:42:37 AM PDT by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
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To: 0.E.O

Not officially - but the ski jump did not have to be retained. Losing it would have meant removing an option for the future, so some people made sure we kept it, regardless of what the official position is at the moment.


7 posted on 05/10/2013 9:43:03 AM PDT by naturalman1975 ("America was under attack. Australia was immediately there to help." - John Winston Howard)
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To: fireforeffect
I didn't forget HMAS Australia but I regard the comparison with HMAS Melbourne as more relevant. If you want to get technical, HMAS Supply was even larger than HMAS Australia and almost the same displacement as the Canberra class, but she was a fleet oiler.
8 posted on 05/10/2013 9:47:03 AM PDT by naturalman1975 ("America was under attack. Australia was immediately there to help." - John Winston Howard)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

May God bless her and all those who sail upon her.


10 posted on 05/10/2013 9:49:32 AM PDT by llevrok (2013: - Obama vs America. The new cold war)
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To: naturalman1975
From the article:

Being able to carry up to 1600 fully equipped combat troops (1000 comfortably)

Presumably, the uncomfortable lot would be the lower ranks.

11 posted on 05/10/2013 9:52:07 AM PDT by centurion316
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To: naturalman1975
Nothing against the modern Canberra, but THIS Canberra was one gorgeous cruiser.


12 posted on 05/10/2013 11:04:21 AM PDT by Jacquerie (How few were left who had seen the republic! - Tacitus, The Annals)
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To: naturalman1975
It's nice to see the Canberra name carried on by such an impressive ship.

The WWII Canberra was lost in the Battle of Savo Island and is one of the many ships at the bottom of Ironbottom Sound.

The US Navy named one of its cruisers Canberra, the only Navy ship ever named for a foreign ship or capital.

13 posted on 05/10/2013 12:17:41 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: naturalman1975

Don’t see how surface ships have a chance now.


14 posted on 05/10/2013 12:56:32 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Plan "B" is now Plan "A")
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To: llevrok

Fair winds and following seas, ‘mates.


15 posted on 05/10/2013 1:53:56 PM PDT by ro_dreaming (G.K. Chesterton, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It’s been found hard and lef)
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To: colorado tanker

USS Canberra CAG-2 was a proud vessel. My brother served aboard her during the Cuban missile crisis. The US lost this gallant ship after it’s service in Vietnam.


16 posted on 05/10/2013 1:54:12 PM PDT by 41Thunder (The SUPPLY of Government is GREATER than the DEMAND of the people)
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To: 41Thunder
As a Guided Missile Cruiser:

The ship's bell on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum:


17 posted on 05/10/2013 3:10:59 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: centurion316
Being able to carry up to 1600 fully equipped combat troops (1000 comfortably)

On the off-chance you were serious, 1600 would be the overload limit. Actual requirement is a battalion, plus headquarters and support troops (total 1000-1100)

18 posted on 05/10/2013 3:45:02 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (RIP Chrissie Amphlett.)
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To: naturalman1975

It’s nice to see the good guys building ships too. I fear that they may be needed sooner rather than later.


19 posted on 05/10/2013 4:43:20 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: colorado tanker
The US Navy named one of its cruisers Canberra, the only Navy ship ever named for a foreign ship or capital.

No better friends to America than the Aussies, IMHO. I am glad we so honored them.

20 posted on 05/10/2013 4:43:29 PM PDT by llevrok (2013: - Obama vs America. The new cold war)
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To: naturalman1975
I've known Jonathan Sadleir since he came out here from the RCN and I've done a lot of work with him in his previous posting. A very driven and focused officer, this posting will test him like no other. If he does well driving Canberra he'll pick up his first star (potentially as COMFLOT or COMWAR depending on the posting cycles).
21 posted on 05/11/2013 8:15:53 PM PDT by Dundee (They gave up all their tomorrows for our today's.)
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To: colorado tanker

Thanks for the photos. My brother used to call the Canberra “One Badass Ship”! He served aboard the Canberra from 1962-1966.


22 posted on 05/12/2013 6:05:18 PM PDT by 41Thunder (The SUPPLY of Government is GREATER than the DEMAND of the people)
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To: colorado tanker
In early August 1945, there was some debate about naming a US warship after HMAS Perth, after escaped POW's finally told the story of her heroic last stand at the Battle of the Sunday Strait, fighting alongside USS Houston. But the war ended and warship construction virtually ceased before anything could come of this discussion.
23 posted on 05/12/2013 6:25:03 PM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (I aim to misbehave.)
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Spanish LHD, SPS Juan Carlos I, alongside the Spanish Carrier, SPS Principe de Asturias. The RAN’s LHD is based on the SPS Juan Carlos I.

HMAS Canberra

24 posted on 05/13/2013 5:42:55 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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