HMAS Canberra conducts CH-47F handling trials

A Chinook CH-47F helicopter from the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville makes an approach to HMAS Canberra while the ship is alongside in her home port of Sydney.

Main photo by Able Seaman Bonny Gassner
Below photo by Petty Officer Yuri Ramsey

The Royal Australian Navy Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit (AMAFTU) are currently conducting Chinook CH-47F deck-handling trials on the Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD).

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Despite the considerable size of HMAS Canberra and its aircraft lifts, the helicopter is actually too big to be accommodated on the largest of her two interdeck lifts without having her rotor blades removed.

The second photo shows the F-model Chinook helicopter being lowered from the flight deck, on the aft aircraft lift, to the hangar deck during the trials in Sydney.

The Canberra-class LHD, also known as an amphibious assault ship, provids the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

These 27,000 tonne ships will be able to land a force of more than 1000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.

HMAS Canberra and her sister ship HMAS Adelaide are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy.

The LHD’s flight deck is 202m long and 32m wide, allowing the ship to operate a range of ADF rotary wing helicopters including MRH90, CH-47F Chinook, Blackhawk, Seahawk (including Romeo) and Tiger ARH.

The flight deck is configured with six landing spots on the port side for medium-sized helicopters or up to four CH-47F Chinooks simultaneously.

The hanger is designed to house eight medium helicopters for normal operations – or up to 18 if the upper light vehicle deck is not occupied.

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Brian Hartigan

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

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