HMAS Canberra has successfully completed trials to transport an M1A1 Abrams main battle tank and large vehicle loads ashore near Townsville.
The trials were conducted a few weeks ago, using units of the Australian Army's 3rd Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion.
The landing craft's engine room had been modified to nearly double its carrying capacity to more than 60 tonnes, allowing the landing craft to carry the Army’s heavy tracked vehicles.
Amphibious System Program Office Director, Captain Brad Smith, said the activity was a culmination of work by a highly dedicated and integrated team of people from Defence and industry, including the Navy Technical Bureau, Defence Science and Technology and Capability and Sustainment Groups.
“These groups combined with Navy to fully realise and unlock the capability of the landing helicopter dock landing craft,” CAPT Smith said.
"I'm very proud of the skills on display from the leading seaman landing craft coxswains and their crews."
Canberra’s Commanding Officer, Captain Terry Morrison, praised the expertise and collaborative approach adopted by the landing craft crews, dock teams and heavy vehicle operators to achieve the milestone.
“I’m very proud of the skills on display from the leading seaman landing craft coxswains and their crews, who are adept in manoeuvring these large loads safely to the beach,” CAPT Morrison said.
The Director of the RAN Test and Evaluation Authority, Captain David Frost, attributed the success of the trials to a team effort.
“The focus and professionalism of numerous people across Navy and Army has resulted in a significant capability enhancement for the Australian Defence Force and we look forward to building on this capability as we mature the Maritime Warfare Centre,” CAPT Frost said.
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Testing was also held for Army’s 45M heavy recovery vehicle (42 tonne) and the HX77 heavy utility truck (33.5 tonne).