Is it a ship or a helicopter carrier?
The arrival of the hull of the HMAS yesterday sparked sharp debate about what the naval ship actually is . . . and does.
This isn’t an aircraft carrier, nor is work being done in Geelong. Completion work takes place at Williamstown.
Michael, Geelong It’s actually not an aircraft carrier, but a helicopter carrier.
Chris P It’s not an aircraft carrier, it’s an LHD ( Landing Helicopter Dock). An aircraft carrier is larger.
Ship Watcher Helicopters are aircraft, so are aeroplanes. Helicopters are ‘‘rotarywing aircraft’’. The term used is correct.
Coma, Northern wastes Actually it is an aircraft carrier. The mistake you guys are making is assuming that an aircraft carrier has to be as large as the US ones or the ones the UK is building. The runway at the front is sloped upwards for a reason. The fact is this could be used to carry F35-B jets if the RAAF chose to buy them. The fact is that it could be used to launch other fixed-wing aircraft.
John, Melbourne It’s a Landing Helicopter Dock, designed for amphibious landings. It’s in Geelong before being transported to Williamstown. Check the Navy website.
Take a look This is a Landing Helicopter Platform. The ski ramp is a fixed part of the design, and will not be used by the ADF (Navy and Army will co-operate this vessel). First to Geelong to remove welded supports, then off to Frankston to sink the B Marlin and float off the Nuship (deepest part of the bay), then to Williamstown.
T-man, Melbourne Chris P is absolutely correct. It is not an aircraft carrier, it an Amphibious Assault Ship commonly known as a Landing Helicopter Dock. It has no arresting cables and no catapults, and as such cannot be used with fixed-wing aircraft without STOVL (short take-off and vertical landing) capabilities. Its purpose is to deploy troops and equipment, not to provide aerial defence by the use of aircraft.
Pete It is an aircraft carrier in the sense that it shall carry a complement of rotary-wing aircraft to assist in deploying forces ashore, just like the four landing craft in the well deck shell. It ‘‘may’’ be able to cross deck aircraft. like the Harrier-type aircraft the US Marines use, but as far as I am aware its deck surface is unsuitable for both Osprey and Lightning 2 and it does not have appropriate fuel bunkerage either. The Canberra class LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. When completed they will be more than 230m long, 27.5m high and weigh around 27,500 tonnes. Each ship can carry a combined arms battle group of more than 1100 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters and features a 40-bed hospital. Hope this clears the air as to what this ship is. It is called a Landing Helicopter Dock class vessel.
Andrew, NSW The ramp will not be used. It is there because it was too expensive to get Navantia to redesign and build without it. Australia (by treaty) cannot have a vessel equipped to launch fixed-wing aircraft, so it will not be used for this purpose.