Royal Australian Navy to Lease Additional Amphibious Ship
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Royal Australian Navy will lease an additional amphibious ship, the Windermere, to enhance the Navy’s amphibious capability during the forthcoming cyclone season.
This adds to HMAS Choules which will arrive in Australia in December and HMAS Tobruk which is currently in maintenance in preparation for the cyclone season which commences in November.
The additional ship has been leased to maximise the Royal Australian Navy’s ability to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters over the cyclone period.
The Windermere has been leased from 14 October to 31 January 2012, with the option to extend to the end of February 2012.
It has been chartered through P & O Maritime Services at a cost of $9.4 million. It is capable of supporting around 100 passengers and can carry 1000 tonnes of cargo.
The Windermere is also in addition to Australia’s agreement with New Zealand that the New Zealand amphibious lift ship HMNZS Canterbury would be made available as part of the joint Pacific-focused Ready Response Force, subject to any operational requirements in New Zealand.
Today’s announcement is one of a series of actions the Government has taken this year to improve Navy’s amphibious capability and ensure it has the capacity required for the cyclone season.
Source: navy, September 15, 2011;