Keel goes down for the transforming HMAS Canberra

johnboy 3 October 2009 23

The Geelong Advertiser is advising readers as to the best spots to see the old HMAS Canberra go down tomorrow as she’s converted into a dive reef.

So perhaps it’s appropriate that the Spanish mega ship builder Navantia last week announced that the first sections of keel have been laid down for the new HMAS Canberra.


(Image: the Juan Carlos I)

Impressive enough for it’s ability to sink down into the water and convert itself into a floating harbour I was also struck by the wiki entry for the first ship of this design, the Spanish Juan Carlos I. Of particular note:

She can carry up to 30 aircraft in the aircraft carrier mode, using the light vehicles bay as additional storage zones.

“Aircraft carrier mode”? A handy thing to have.


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23 Responses to Keel goes down for the transforming HMAS Canberra
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Maxxiz Maxxiz 1:39 am 08 Oct 09

Yeah. But if it were to be utilised it would not be for a long time.. as there is no remote plans to use it yet. And what i said, The ski-jump is staying, as the time, effort and money involved with re-designing it isn’t worth it to get it off. is exactly what the p/ manager said, im not just assuming that. Hence why I say thre is no even remote plans to utilise it.

Ari Ari 10:59 pm 06 Oct 09

Maxxiz said :

The ski-jump is staying, as the time, effort and money involved with re-designing it isnt worth it to get it off.

So we’ll “accidentally” be left with an extremely useful potential capability?

No, it’s not worth the additional cost to remove it. 😉

Maxxiz Maxxiz 8:19 pm 05 Oct 09

Oh and this ship has already been in production for a while.. Cant remember exact dates…

Maxxiz Maxxiz 8:18 pm 05 Oct 09

Hey guys, I know quite alot about this ship and its pre-decessor (Having travelled on it). I have spoken to the project manager for the new ship and have sat through a two hour presentation on it and about it. As said, there are no intentions to operate fixed wing aircraft on it, nor any other craft, except helicopters. The ski-jump is staying, as the time, effort and money involved with re-designing it isnt worth it to get it off. The size and capabilities of this ship are amazing. Cant be bothered to start going on about any more but if anyones interested I will. 🙂 Max

Pandy Pandy 7:23 am 05 Oct 09
Pseudo Nym Pseudo Nym 4:50 pm 04 Oct 09

The costs associated with the purchase of STOVL fixed wing aircraft, training crews and equiping the Canberra class to operate & support such craft are sufficiently exhorbitant that it wont be an option anytime in the near future given our strategic and tactical needs.

For most operations in our immediate theatre, air cover from rotary wing aircraft (e.g. Tiger ARH and Sea Hawks) is likely sufficient. For when it isn’t F35 As operating from Australian airfields with air-to-air refuling have sufficient range to cover just about anywhere we might operate independent of material support from the USA or UK. With a US carrier battle group, indigenous fixed wing capacity becomes redundant.

If a fixed wing capacity for the RAN was anymore than a wet dream at this point, it would show up in the White Paper and related correspondence.

As for putting tanks up Tonga or Fiji, we have the capacity to do that now. These craft just increase the volume and tempo.

johnboy johnboy 4:01 pm 04 Oct 09

And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

JC JC 3:45 pm 04 Oct 09

Ari said :

JC said :

In anycase it is academic anyway as they are not planned to operate of the Canberra class anyway.

Nice ski jump on the picture, eh?

It is a nice ram but that is a Spanish ship. Ours are based on the same design (so may or may not have the ramp) and at present the ADF DO NOT have any plans for planes to be used on them. Indeed the ADF do not have any model that could use this ship and are not planing to buy any at this stage.

johnboy johnboy 12:21 pm 04 Oct 09

Just because things are a certain way now does not mean they will always be that way.

Quite the reverse in fact.

deye deye 12:16 pm 04 Oct 09

johnboy said :

one of these things will be providing air cover while the other puts a mechanised battalion up a beach where they’re not wanted.

Air cover ? with what ? there are no anti-aircraft missiles or close-in weapon systems on these ships. It’s deemed the new Hobart class destroyers and the RAAF will protect from other aircraft and missiles. That’s if wiki is correct in this instance.

johnboy johnboy 11:16 am 04 Oct 09

Pandy said :

Fiji? too hard. roll the tanks into Tonga under cover of aid.

Fiji being too hard is pretty much why we’re spending billions to have these things.

And once one has these things one doesn’t have to use them so much.

But they will also be very handy for cleaning up after tsunamis.

Pandy Pandy 10:03 am 04 Oct 09

Fiji? too hard. roll the tanks into Tonga under cover of aid.

johnboy johnboy 3:04 am 04 Oct 09

I wouldn’t read too much into it, we’re going to work these ships within an inch of their lives.

Basically, as soon as the first one is completed we’re rolling tanks into Fiji, and from then you can bet one of the two will be doing some hard yakka in the south pacific (while the other one does maintenance) until the big one blows up and one of these things will be providing air cover while the other puts a mechanised battalion up a beach where they’re not wanted.

No guarantees that anyone comes home from that jamboree.

dvaey dvaey 1:56 am 04 Oct 09

JC said :

We are getting the JSF which will have vertical take off ability just like the old harrier jump jet. Both off which could use this ship.

I remember hearing years ago, the only problem with the Harrier was that it wasnt made in the USA, so it didnt have enough resources or R&D invested in it. If it had, it wouldve changed military aviation hugely.

deye said :

The F-35B is the model that could be used on it, we are getting the F-35A.
besides the way that program is going the ship will be in service long before the aircraft.

From the wiki article, I was amazed it took the Spanish just over a year between making this ship and floating it, while its going to take Australia 2-3 years to float it then another couple of years to finish it. Vaguely sounds like the collins-class debacle.

Ari Ari 12:36 am 04 Oct 09

JC said :

In anycase it is academic anyway as they are not planned to operate of the Canberra class anyway.

Nice ski jump on the picture, eh?

vg vg 10:53 pm 03 Oct 09

The aircraft the Poms used on ships was the Sea Harrier. Whole different story to the regular Harrier once salt water and ships come into the equation. Did a few landings on HMS Invincible back in the day

deye deye 9:48 pm 03 Oct 09

The F-35B is the model that could be used on it, we are getting the F-35A.
besides the way that program is going the ship will be in service long before the aircraft.

JC JC 9:37 pm 03 Oct 09

You are right we are getting the A model which is conventional landing. In anycase it is academic anyway as they are not planned to operate of the Canberra class anyway.

GottaLoveCanberra GottaLoveCanberra 7:25 pm 03 Oct 09

I was under the impression we weren’t getting the VTOL capable version of the JSF?

JC JC 4:52 pm 03 Oct 09

We are getting the JSF which will have vertical take off ability just like the old harrier jump jet. Both off which could use this ship. Having said that I don’t think the ADF has any plans to put them on this ship though, it will be used more for helicopters.

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