Royal Australian Navy Launches Its Largest Ship




Nuship Canberra transiting the waters of Jervis Bay, New South Wales

(Photo courtesy Royal Australian Navy)


“The largest ship ever built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has taken to sea as it begins its final contractor trials. The 27,800 tonne (30,600 ton) Nuship Canberra is the first of two Land Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships under construction for the Australian Defence Force and is billed by the RAN as “one of the most capable and sophisticated air–land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.”

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Raising superstructure module from dock

(Photo courtesy of BAE Systems)

Comments Charles McCain:

“I’m glad to see the Royal Australian Navy is continuing to upgrade its fleet as planned in a defense policy recommendation adopted in 2000.  While there are fifty-three commissioned ships in the navy, only twelve can be classified as blue water offensive and defensive warships. The remainder are support ships, patrol boats, mine clearance ships et al.

We need the Australian Navy to grow larger than it is now because of the increasing size and power projection capabilities of the navy of the People’s Republic of China. The US Navy can hardly defend all of our allies in this new era unless they bulk up their naval capabilities. I hope they will do that.

Officially known as the “Commonwealth of Australia,” the country remains a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as Queen of Australia. She is represented by a Governor-General who she appoints although the Australian government only gives her the name of the person they want appointed.

As a constitutional monarchy with the British monarch also serving as the separate monarch of Australia, naval ships have the prefix: HMAS meaning “Her Majesty’s Australian Ship”.

Below are two official photographs of the guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney


HMAS Sydney participating in the International Fleet Review 2013

(photo courtesy of Royal Australian Navy)


HMAS Sydney firing a SM2 missile

(photo courtesy of Royal Australian Navy)

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: