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.

Geelong Advertiser - - OUR SAY -

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.

Michael, Gee­long

All clear

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