Australian Navy to Decommission HMAS Kanimbla


The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare, today announced that the amphibious ship HMAS Kanimbla would be decommissioned.

In September 2010 the Chief of Navy imposed an operational pause on HMAS Kanimbla due to seaworthiness concerns.

Since then, Defence has assessed the future of HMAS Kanimbla.

This included a detailed assessment of the capability provided by HMAS Kanimbla, an assessment of its materiel state and a cost and risk assessment.

The outcome of this assessment is that the most cost effective and lowest risk option is to decommission HMAS Kanimbla.

The cost to complete the extensive remediation work required on HMAS Kanimbla is estimated to be up to $35 million.

HMAS Kanimbla would not on that basis be available for operations until at least mid-2012. HMAS Kanimbla was scheduled in any event to be decommissioned at the end of 2014.

It does not represent value for money to therefore pursue further maintenance on HMAS Kanimbla.

Accordingly, on the basis of advice and recommendations from the Chief of Navy and the Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation, the Government has agreed to decommission HMAS Kanimbla.

This announcement follows a number of announcements relating to Navy’s amphibious capability in 2011.

In February the Government announced that HMAS Manoora would be decommissioned on the advice of the Chief of Navy that the ship was beyond economical repair to bring it back into operational service, given the vessel’s remaining planned life.

HMAS Manoora was formally decommissioned in May.

The Government also announced in February that it was pursuing the acquisition of the United Kingdom amphibious ship the RFA Largs Bay. The Government indicated at the time that, should this acquisition proceed, it would consider the decommissioning of the HMAS Kanimbla.

In April the Government announced that it had successfully acquired Largs Bay for £65 million (approximately $100 million).

Largs Bay will be commissioned into Navy service as HMAS Choules in honour of Mr Claude Choules, the last known veteran to have served on active service in the First World War.

HMAS Choules is expected to arrive in Australia for a commissioning ceremony in Fremantle in December 2011.

Source: navy, August 19, 2011;