PETALING JAYA: It was announced on Apr 6, 2011 that the Royal Australian Navy had won the bid to purchase an almost brand new amphibious ship for some RM320 million (see story below). The ship will be in service by next year.
We on the other hand will probably see the first of three (or four?) MRSS be commissioned in 2015. Yes, the Aussies had also experience amphibious fleet pain like us but unlike us they moved much quicker to solve the problem.
April 6/11: Australian Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announces that Australia’s bid for HMS Largs Bay was successful. Speaking of the future HMAS Largs Bay (or whatever Australia decides to rename it), he says that:
“Its flight deck has room for two large helicopters and can also carry around 150 light trucks and 350 troops. Its cargo capacity is the equivalent of the Royal Australian Navy’s entire amphibious fleet…. The ship has been acquired for £65 million (approximately US$ 100 million). Teekay Shipping Australia has thoroughly inspected the ship and found that: “The ship presents very well, and from a technical point of view, there are no major defects.” “
The Royal Australian Navy will still conduct sea trials once Largs Bay arrives, expected to happen before the end of 2011. The ship is expected to be operational in early 2012. Australian DoD.
Further background on the ship by Defense Industry Daily
The fate of a nearly-new British amphibious support ship, RFA Largs Bay, is all about timing.
Britain commissioned 4 of the 176m long, 16,200t Bay Class LSD amphibious ships to renew a very run-down capability. The new “Alternative Landing Ship Logistic” ships were built from the same base Enforcer template that produced the successful Dutch Rotterdam and Johann de Witt, and Spanish Galicia class programs. Britain ordered 4 of these ALSL/LSD-A ships into its Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and active use began with RFA Largs Bay’s commissioning in 2006. By 2011, however, Britain’s fiscal situation was so dire that a strategic review marked RFA Largs Bay for decommissioning in April 2011, after just a fraction of its 30+ year service life.
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