HMAS Canberra, the first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, has been formally commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet, significantly increasing the ADF’s amphibious capability. Members of the ship’s company lined the hangar as guests including Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Prime Minister Tony Abbott witnessed the historic event.
The LHD is due to proceed to sea in coming weeks for a period of crew training and assessment, according to a statement from Defence. Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Sadleir stated that the ship’s company had been training for months in preparation for the introduction into service of Canberra.
“It was a proud and emotional experience for me to stand with 400 exceptional members of my crew today; through the efforts of many organisations, this outstanding ship is now a reality,” CAPT Sadleir said. “We know it’s an awesome ship with huge capability, but the next step is to go to sea and test procedures, refine and consolidate, so we can be ready when the nation needs us.”
NUSHIP Adelaide, the second LHD, is expected to be commissioned in 2016.