HMAS Canberra Docks in Townsville, Queensland

Australian Navy’s new Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Canberra made its first visit outside her homeport of Sydney since her commissioning.

The vessel docked in Townsville on March 29, and hosted an open day. Over 15,000 people turned up at the Port of Townsville to tour the ship.

Canberra is in far north Queensland conducting first of class flight trials at sea in a tropical environment. The Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit is onboard Canberra conducting the trials with one S70B-2 Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron and two MRH 90 helicopters from 808 Squadron, along with their flight teams, to support the trials. These trials are critical to the safe operation of helicopters onboard and must be achieved prior to the ship being deemed ready for operations.

The ship was busy while alongside continuously conducting orientation tours with Army personnel from the 3rd Brigade, in particular members of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, to develop the Australian Defence Force’s amphibious capability. Defence Force Recruiting took the opportunity to also visit the ship along with Naval Cadets from Training Ship Townsville.

The ship is scheduled to complete the current trials in May and will then complete testing across all her capabilities to achieve unit readiness later this year.

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Image: Australian Navy

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