LHDs incapable of delivering tanks to shore

There were worrisome reports in the media yesterday saying the landing craft on the Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock ships, HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, are not capable of delivering M1 Abrams tanks from ship to shore using their own landing craft.

CAPTIONAn M1 Abrams tank is loaded onto a Mexeflote landing craft (from HMAS Choules) in the well dock of HMAS Canberra during Exercise Talisman Saber 17. Photo by Corporal Oliver Carter.

It seems the LHD landing craft (LLC) (which were bought after the original landing craft they replaced were found to be incapable before they even entered service), can carry a max load of 65 tonnes in ‘benign sea conditions’ – and their safe carrying capacity is progressively reduced to just 39 tonnes in sea state 4.

Or at least that was the theory.

Now it seems the RAN has suspended M1 Abrams tank-delivery trials using LLCs because the landing craft “sat lower in the water than expected” when a tank was driven onto them.

By the way, the current in-service M1 Abrams tank weighs 62 tonnes – which means that even if the landing craft performed as advertised, they could only deliver the Army’s main battle tank to the beachhead if the water was dead calm.

But now it seems they can’t even do that.

And, compounding this dilemma, future upgraded M1A2 Abrams tanks, which the Australian Army is already contemplating, could weigh up to 72 tonnes – which means LHD delivery will be a no go regardless – unless HMAS Choules and her mexeflote barges are nearby.

The M1 Abrams tank seen in the video below during Exercise Talisman Sabre is going ashore aboard the flat, basic, low-brow-science ‘mexeflote’ barge belonging to HMAS Choules, with the LLC in the background carrying two Bushmasters (aprox 15 tonnes each).

 

 

BTW  – this article is based on second-hand reporting of answers to questions taken on notice at Senate Estimates in May, which were delivered by Navy this week.

The sensationalised report, in The Australian newspaper, in which this information was first spotted, also says a Tiger helicopter has 22 seats 😉

Thankfully, we were able to find the same info (about the tanks) in other, more credible, sources.

 

Also – the same answers to questions on notice to Senate Estimates reportedly cited significant issues with MRH-90 helicopter operations on the LHDs, because they don’t have rotor brakes (which is surely a customer-purchase-request issue rather than a manufacturing issue?).

.
.
.

.

.
.

+ +

 

.

.

.

.

16489 Total Views 15 Views Today

Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

5 thoughts on “LHDs incapable of delivering tanks to shore

  • 14/08/2017 at 6:26 am
    Permalink

    MRH90 does have a rotor brake. ARH can, at a stretch, sit ten people on each stub wing……

    Reply
    • 14/08/2017 at 10:07 am
      Permalink

      Hi Ian. I’m going to pick you up on both counts – with tongue in cheek – no malice whatsoever…
      You are correct in a pointing-out-the-obvious-for-no-obvious-reason kind of way that the MRH90 doesn’t have a rotor brake, because it said so in the story.
      And you’re wrong about ARH carrying 10 blokes on each stub wing in an ADF-OH&S-nazis-would-freak-out kind of way 😉
      Sir Jeffrey Armiger

      Reply
  • 13/08/2017 at 10:14 am
    Permalink

    ‘ . . . The sensationalised report, in The Australian newspaper, in which this information was first spotted, also says a Tiger helicopter has 22 seats 😉

    Thankfully, we were able to find the same info (about the tanks) in other, more credible, sources.

    Also – the same answers to questions on notice to Senate Estimates reportedly cited significant issues with MRH-90 helicopter operations on the LHDs, because they don’t have rotor BREAKS . . .’ Credible, you say?

    Reply
    • 13/08/2017 at 10:19 am
      Permalink

      All that for one spelling error!
      Good on ya Sir.
      😛

      Seriously though, while I totally agree that spelling errors are bloody annoying and certainly do distract from the message of an article – so too are pedants who suggest an entire (and arguably important) message has lost its credibility because of one human error – in a footnote!
      Most normal people would simply point out the error and encourage me to fix it without embarrassing me – or themselves – or without slamming an otherwise valid and important story.

      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

      Reply
  • 10/08/2017 at 2:06 pm
    Permalink

    The solution was to send the M1 ashore with limited fuel and ammunition. Don’t know which bright spark thought of that, but surely you would want you mbt to be fully combat operational. Also they had the option to purchase a heavier more capable craft but chose not to because of expense?!?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.