The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra has entered the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island, Sydney, for a period of maintenance following the ship’s return from a three-month regional deployment.
HMAS Canberra recently returned to Sydney after a three-month deployment comprised of multilateral training exercises as part of a task group, maritime integration with Army elements and a successful search and rescue in the Pacific.
To prepare the ship to return to service following this prolonged period of deployment, Canberra entered the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island, Sydney, in order to undergo a period of maintenance.
Amphibious Combat and Sealift Systems Program Office Asset Manager, Lieutenant Keshav Shrestha, said the extended maintenance period was being undertaken to enable necessary upkeep: “HMAS Canberra is conducting an important five-yearly docking, and it is the first time this deep level of maintenance will be undertaken since the vessel was commissioned in 2014.”
Tasks to be undertaken include preventative maintenance, ship’s class and navy certifications, rectifying defects, completing engineering changes and improving the material state of the ship. These activities depend on the dry dock and require extended availability of the ship to action necessary changes.
Amphibious Combat and Sealift Systems Program Office Sustainment Manager, Commander Dane Wilson, said this maintenance period would boost the ship.
“The extended maintenance period will enable the Royal Australian Navy to remain fully capable and fulfil humanitarian aid and disaster relief commitments for the Australian government as well as other numerous operational tasks planned for HMAS Canberra,” CMDR Wilson said.
Canberra had a busy year deploying to the South Pacific and conducted exercises off the east coast of Australia. Following the extended maintenance period, the ship will return to the fleet for work-ups and future deployments.
HMAS Canberra’s appearance will also change in colour from the current Shipside Grey to the new Haze Grey, paintwork will also include above and below the waterline preservation along with flight-deck and weather-deck maintenance.
Canberra sailed from Sydney in June for a period of Force Integration Training with other ships in the fleet before leaving Australia as part of a five-ship task group conducting maritime exercises with other nations in South-East Asia and the Pacific.
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The Regional Presence Deployment demonstrated Australia’s commitment to sustaining strong and positive defence relations with regional nations as well as working to enhance the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.
The Canberra Class amphibious assault ship (LHD), also known as a landing helicopter dock, provides the Australian Defence Force with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.
These 27,000-tonne ships are able to land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores. The first LHD, HMAS Canberra, was commissioned on 28 November 2014, and the second ship, HMAS Adelaide, was commissioned on 4 December 2015.
The ship is a conventional steel mono hull design with the superstructure located on the starboard side of the flight deck. There are four main decks: the Well Dock and Heavy Vehicle Deck for heavy vehicles and/or cargo; Main Accommodation Deck, including the Primary Casualty Reception Facility; Hangar and Light Vehicle Deck for light weight vehicles and cargo; and the Flight Deck.