Australian Government Agrees to Purchase Watercraft from Navantia


The Government has agreed to the purchase from Navantia of 12 medium-sized fast landing craft (the LCM-1E) for the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) through Joint Project 2048 Phase 3.

This follows a decision in February 2009 to direct source the purchase of the watercraft to Navantia.

Navantia are building the hulls for the two LHDs and the watercraft will be purpose-built for these ships.

The watercraft will enable transport of troops and equipment from the LHDs to the shore including where there are no fixed port facilities.

The delivery of the first batch of four watercraft will be co-ordinated with the delivery of the first LHD, expected in 2014.

Construction of the LHDs is underway in Spain and Australia.

The LHDs are bigger than Australia’s last aircraft carrier. Each is 230 metres long and can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1000 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters. Each also includes a 40-bed hospital.

Maintenance and support for the watercraft will be provided by Australian industry.

The total cost of Joint Project 2048 Phase 3 is cost capped between $300 million to $500 million in the Public Defence Capability Plan.

The final cost is subject to the satisfactory negotiation of a contract with acceptable terms and conditions.

Source: navy, September 29, 2011