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Third HMAS Canberra to be an Assault Ship (if they’re ever built)

By johnboy - 26 January 2006 9

Mr. Stanhope has put out a media release celebrating the Federales decision to name one of the two planned amphibious assault ships HMAS Canberra.

Some might think it’s a little premature as the money hasn’t been allocated yet, let alone the thing being built.

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
Third HMAS Canberra to be an Assault Ship (if they’re ever built)
Maelinar 11:59 am 02 Feb 06

Why give Canberra it’s 4th run at the shot ?

I reckon HMAS Dubbo or HMAS Forbes are equally worthwhile, and with the tragic history of the Canberra range, that may not be such a bad thing – not that I put any stock in a name having any effect on anything whatsoever.

Nice point about the actual shells origin Mr Evil, given their current track record, it’s more probable than possible that the land of the standing monkeys fired upon their friends…

johnboy 2:51 pm 27 Jan 06

The wikipedia has a good history of the first Canberra’s tragic end.

It explains the american shellfire was to scuttle the abandoned Canberra after Japanese Long Lance torpedoes had rendered her immobile.

Thumper 1:37 pm 27 Jan 06

Okay. I’m not much on naval history I just knew there had been a few Canberras.

So what of the Sydney? Did the Emden (sp?)wave the white flag and then open up on her at point blank range?

Mr Evil 1:22 pm 27 Jan 06

There’s always been some talk that HMAS Canberra (1) was actually hit by American shells in the wild melee that the Japanese Navy caused when they managed to get past the destroyer picket undetected and opened fire in amongst the Allied fleet.

Thumper 12:23 pm 27 Jan 06

Karma whore?

Yin and yang? Itchy and Scratchy? Black and white?

Karma is catching up on me at the moment….

johnboy 1:08 pm 26 Jan 06

Now that I think about it, giving these hypothetical ships names so early is probably a political move to try and guarantee the program.

hypothetical “amphibious assault ships” (note: the assault is amphibious, not the ship) are much easier to cancel than “Canberra” and “Adelaide”

johnboy 1:04 pm 26 Jan 06

thank you thumper the karma whore.

It is interesting that assault ships are the new capital ships now that defence planners assume command of the seas.

A few years ago they were little better than auxilliaries. Let’s hope that, should she be built, she has a long and peacefull life.

Because when push comes to shove she’s going to be a very large, valuable and slow target (especially once they flood the dock for a landing).

Thumper 12:57 pm 26 Jan 06

And the second was an FFG that I believe some of my mates served on.

HMAS Canberra is a long range escort frigate that undertakes roles including area air-defence, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship is capable of countering simultaneous air, surface and sub-surface threats.

Canberra and her five sister frigates HMA Ships Adelaide, Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne and Newcastle, were the first Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships to be powered by gas turbines for their main propulsion. This, combined with a modern repair by replacement policy, has allowed both a reduced complement and a high availability for sea. Canberra can be underway in less than 30 minutes. In addition, two forward mounted retractable auxiliary propulsion units are fitted to provide excellent manoeuvrability in confined waters.

Canberra ‘s principal weapons are the Standard medium range anti-aircraft missile and the Harpoon anti-ship missile, both of which are fired from the Mk13 launcher on the forecastle. A 76mm gun to counter both anti-aircraft and anti-surface threats is fitted forward of the funnel. The NULKA decoy system and one 20mm Phalanx close-in weapon system are fitted for anti-missile defence.

For long range anti-submarine tasks, Canberra is equipped with a flight deck and hangars for two S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters. For close-in anti-submarine defence the ship is fitted with two Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes.

The ship’s sensors include long and short range radars and an electro-optical tracking system for air and surface surveillance, electronic warfare surveillance sensors and a hull mounted sonar. A computer based command and control system processes information as well as a data link from other ships and aircraft. The ship has a sophisticated suite of communications equipment allowing it communicate with other ships, aircraft and shore establishments.

Canberra is the third ship to bear this name. The original was a RAN Heavy Cruiser, which served from 1928 until she was sunk at the Battle of Savo Island in 1942. The second was a United States Navy Heavy Cruiser, USS Canberra, named in honour of the first, which served from 1944 to 1978 filling roles as a Heavy Cruiser and later a, Guided Missile Heavy Cruiser and ceremonial flagship.

She was decommissioned a few years ago.

Thumper 12:51 pm 26 Jan 06

Well, this was the first HMAS Canberra, she was badly damaged and scuttled in August 1942.

HMAS Canberra (Heavy Cruiser, 1928-1942)

HMAS Canberra, a 9850-ton heavy cruiser of the British Kent class, was built at Glasgow, Scotland. She was commissioned in July 1928 and soon steamed to Australia. Following the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Canberra mainly operated in Australian and Indian Ocean waters, but also served in the South Atlantic in 1940. In March 1941, she helped to sink the German support ship Ketty Brovig in the Indian Ocean.

In early August 1942, the cruiser participated in Operation “Watchtower”, the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the southern Solomon Islands. During the early hours of 9 August, while on patrol off Guadalcanal, she was badly damaged in combat with a force of Japanese cruisers. HMAS Canberra was scuttled several hours later, becoming one of the first ships sunk in what would soon be called “Iron Bottom Sound”.

Canberra’s wreck was discovered and examined in July-August 1992, almost exactly fifty years after her loss. She lies upright on the sea floor, some 2500 feet deep, with visible signs of shell hits and fire damage amidships. Her turrets are still trained out to the port side, as they were during her brief and fatal engagement with the Japanese.

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