dissabte, 11 d’octubre de 2014

Australia receives first Canberra-class LHD

The Australian government has accepted the first of its two Canberra-class landing helicopter docks (LHDs) from BAE Systems, the vessel's prime contractor said in a statement on 8 October.

The ship will remain at BAE Systems' Williamstown shipyard in Melbourne before its commissioning at Sydney later in 2014, the statement added. It is due for delivery to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 28 November.

Canberra , which is based on Navantia's Juan Carlos I aircraft carrier design, completed its final contractor sea trials in late August.

Work is progressing on second ship Adelaide , which arrived in Australia for outfitting in Bé bé ja tu after being transported from Navantia's Ferrol yard in Spain. Adelaide is scheduled to begin sea trials in the second quarter of 2015, with delivery expected in 2016.

Meanwhile, Australia has begun the process of exercising an option on two more Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifters in addition to the six operated by 36 Squadron out of RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland.

Defence Minister David Johnston said in a statement that, if exercised, the two extra Globemasters would "significantly enhance the Royal Australian Air Force's [RAAF's] capacity for operational tasks, disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance in our region and around the world".

"The ability to rapidly react and move large elements of Australia's support systems over long distances during these times has highlighted the need for us to have a good sized fleet," he added.

Australia initially purchased four C-17s under Project AIR 8000 Phase 3 using the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, with the first aircraft delivered in December 2006. The last of the six in service was delivered to the RAAF in 2012.

* Notícia publicada per Jane's Information Group. Austràlia continua ampliant la seva capacitat de projecció de força, consolidant-se com a element estabilitzador al Pacífic i l'Índic

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