Australia: Mast Modules for LHD Superstructure Ready for Transport

Mast Modules for LHD Superstructure Ready for Transport

Mast modules for the 27,000 tonne Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), fabricated and constructed at BAE Systems Henderson, facility are now completed and ready to be transported to Melbourne.

The three mast modules weighing between 19 and 36 tonnes will form part of the superstructure of the LHDs and will house equipment including communication and combat systems, navigation and air traffic control radars and infrared search and track sensors.

The mast modules will be loaded onto the heavy lift ship Henan Scan berthed at BAE Systems wharf at their Henderson load-out facility. The vessel will leave the load-out facility tomorrow and is scheduled to arrive in Williamstown the following Monday, weather dependent.

The mast modules will then be consolidated together with the superstructure being constructed at BAE Systems Williamstown. The superstructure together with the masts, and all the control, combat and communications systems, will be installed, integrated and tested at the BAE Systems Williamstown shipyard.

Director of Maritime for BAE Systems, Bill Saltzer, said the manufacture, outfit, blast and paint works on these three mast modules began last September.

“It was decided to construct the mast modules at the Henderson facility because of its proven track record for fabricating vessel masts for the Royal Australian Navy and by keeping the superstructure build on BAE Systems sites we can ensure consistent quality in the LHD project.

“Also with the amount of work currently being undertaken at the Williamstown yard, with two major projects, it made sense to utilise our workshops and personnel in Western Australia.

“Complete with its own 6,000 tonne load-out facility, our Henderson site sits on 14.5 hectares with direct waterfront access and has the facilities, capacity and technical capability to accommodate this part of the build,” he said.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor for the LHD Project. The first hull which is being constructed in Ferrol Spain is expected to arrive in Williamstown in the fourth quarter 2012.

Mr Saltzer said BAE Systems had also commenced phase one of a major upgrade to the Henderson facility.

“The upgrade to the site includes expansion of the existing rail system which will allow more capacity for ship dry-dockings along with a number of other facility improvements to enhance the overall working environment.

“Upgrading this well-located waterfront facility will put us in a prime position to secure future opportunities within Western Australia, both in the naval and commercial markets” he said.


Naval Today Staff, June 5, 2012; Image: BAE Systems