NUSHIP Adelaide starts her final period of sea trials today.
The second of the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will leave the Williamstown shipyard and head up the eastern coast of NSW to the Jervis Bay area.
Pivotal to this period of sea trials will be testing of the ship’s combat and communications systems in a range of scenarios to validate the systems’ capabilities.
Like her sister ship HMAS Canberra that was delivered by BAE Systems last October, HMAS Adelaide is the largest and most complex type of vessel that the RAN operates.
When she returns from sea trials, NUSHIP Adelaide will be prepared for delivery.
The RAN will have the opportunity to perform various routine alongside exercises as it continues to build its capability for crewing the vessel while the ship compartments and systems are progressively handed over to the NUSHIP Adelaide crew.
The crew has already been trained for its role on the RAN’s second Landing Helicopter Dock ship.
All crew serving on NUSHIP Adelaide and HMAS Canberra were trained by BAE Systems at the Company’s state-of-the-art training facility at Mascot, Sydney.
Director of Maritime, Bill Saltzer said everyone who had worked on the program should be proud of their contribution in delivering a step change in capability to the RAN.
“We have integrated the many systems that have brought the ships to life and which will be vital during their service to the Navy, both for defence of Australia as well as for providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief,” Mr Saltzer said.
“Of course, as the prime contractor for the in-service support of both LHDs, our connection with, and commitment to, these amazing vessels will continue long beyond the delivery of NUSHIP Adelaide.”
Meanwhile, in related news – Australia’s newest military capability, the Amphibious Ready Element, is preparing to demonstrate its capacity in waters off the north Queensland.
Townsville-based 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with MRH-90 helicopters from the 16th Aviation Brigade will combine with HMAS Canberra and Air Force assets to conduct a series of amphibious training activities from now through to October.
Conducted by the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters under the command of Major General Stuart Smith, the ‘Sea Series’ of exercises will enable the amphibious force to achieve an interim operational capability.
The Amphibious Ready Element includes a force of 900 ADF and other government personnel, supported by four MRH-90 helicopters embarked in Canberra.
Commander of the Amphibious Task Force Captain Jay Bannister said the focus was on integration of the joint force with the ship and projecting land forces across the beach by air and landing craft.
“The training will enable Canberra, and her very diverse and capable embarked force, to learn how to operate as an amphibious joint task force,” Captain Bannister said.
The Sea Series of exercises will culminate in October when the force will be assessed for operational readiness.