Marines: New Ships For Australia


June 25, 2007: Australia has decided on which of the competing designs to use for its two new amphibious ships. The winner is the Spanish Navantia class LHD. This is a 27,000 ton ship that is very similar to the U.S. San Antonio class LPD. The Navantia is 686 feet long, has a crew of about 140 and can carry up to a thousand troops, 150 vehicles, two landing craft and at least six helicopters. The Navantia's are twice the size of the two amphibious ships Australia is replacing, and has a ski-jump flight deck that will enable it to use vertical takeoff warplanes like the Harrier or F-35B. The Navantia's will cost about $1.2 billion each. Australia will receive the first of these LHDs, to be called the Canberra, in five years. The hulls will be built in Spain, then shipped to Australia for the addition of the superstructure and installation of all other equipment.


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