Saturday, 20 May 2017

Australian Navy's $3B carriers sitting idle and useless due to malfunction

7News Sydney on May 20, 2017, 10:34 pm

It seems the Australian Navy has bought a couple of multi-billion dollar lemons.

The two brand new hulking ships that are berthed at Woolloomooloo have broken down – and the navy now says they have design flaws.

At $3 billion, HMAS Adelaide and Canberra were meant to be the pride of the fleet.

But like a dodgy car, Defence chiefs are checking the warranty to see who pays to fix the flaw.
Built for supremacy of the sea, HMAS Adelaide can only float in limbo now.

It's in dry dock; pored over by engineers for months and still nobody knows definitively what's wrong with her.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said, "It's very concerning to see any of our ships out of service."

"It really is important that the government reassure Australians that these ships will be back in service quickly," she said.

The HMAS Canberra's captain, Captain Jonathan Sadlier, had said he expected to see the ship's worth "over the next two to three years".

Now the ships' strategic worth: worthless.

Peter Dean of the Strategic Defence Studies Centre, said the "technology is proven technology".

"It's a capability that had been employed on many, many other ships around the world," he said.

For the first time, naval bosses concede our ships may have design flaws.

The hull was built in Spain, but transported to Australia where we built the internal fit out, including the ships' malfunctioning propulsion systems.

"I suspect it is a faulty part, and I suspect Seamans will be looking to address it pretty quickly," Mr Dean said.

With a crew of 400, the Adelaide and Canberra were designed to carry six helicopters on the flight deck, 10 more below, tanks, armour personnel carriers, Land Rovers.

They can also carry up to 1000 army personnel, special forces and landing craft that could storm a beach or, more likely, provide masses of aid to cities ravaged by natural disasters.

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