Canberra trials

The Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit along with C Squadron, 5 Aviation Regiment has conducted a «quick look» trial of the CH-47D Chinook onboard the Navy’s Flag Ship, HMAS Canberra (L02). The trials were conducted over a week with preliminary work being conducted at HMAS Albatross (air station, also known as Naval Air Station Nowra) and the flying trials conducted at sea on 20-21 October 2015.

A CH-47D Chinook conducts load-lifting trials with HMAS Canberra in Jervis Bay
A CH-47D Chinook conducts load-lifting trials with HMAS Canberra in Jervis Bay

The Chinook helicopter conducted a series of evolutions to HMAS Canberra’s flight deck including launch and recoveries along with an assessment of external load operations known as vertical replenishment or VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment). An assessment was also made of aircraft lashing schemes and refuelling procedures.

This trial was the precursor for a full First of Class Flight Trial planned for the CH-47F in late 2016. The CH-47D and CH-47F are both operated by C Squadron from Townsville in Queensland.

Commander Air HMAS Canberra, Commander Paul Moggach, said the trial represented another milestone in operational capability for the ship. «We are already authorised for deck operations with MRH-90 Taipan and S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters, and the Chinook activity this week has further expanded our knowledge», he said. «We look forward to operating with Army helicopters in support of our amphibious roles».

The outcome of the trial is to provide a limited CH-47D operating envelope to the Landing Helicopter Dock or amphibious assault ship.

A CH-47D Chinook on the deck of HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials in Jervis Bay
A CH-47D Chinook on the deck of HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials in Jervis Bay

 

Characteristics

PLATFORM CHARACTERISTICS
Length Overall 757 feet/230.8 m
Length Waterline 680 feet/207.2 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Design Draft 23.5 feet/7.18 m
Full Load Displacement 27,831 tonnes
Crew and Embarked Forced Accommodation 1,403
MACHINERY
Propulsion 2 × Siemens 11,000 kW PODs
Bowthruster 2 × 1,500 kW Brunvoll/Siemens motors
Stabilisers 2 × Fincantieri
Generators 1 × 22,000 kW GE LM2500 Gas Turbine and 2 × 7,680 kW Diesel
Integrated Platform Management System Navantia – Sistemas
Fresh Water 6 × Reverse Osmosis Plants (each 25 tonnes/day)
Sewage 2 × Treatment Plants
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Speed 20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h
Economic Speed 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Maximum Range 9,250 NM/10,644 miles/17,131 km
Endurance 45+ days
CAPACITY
Flight Deck 51,128.57 feet²/4,750 m²
Dock (including ramp) 12,540 feet²/1,165 m²
Heavy Cargo Garage 12,270.86 feet²/1,410 m²
Light Cargo Garage 20,236 feet²/1,880 m²
Hangar 10,656.27 feet²/990 m²
Garages, Hangar and Well Dock 1,350 lane meter (2.9 m wide)
General Store Rooms 11,614.26 feet²/1,079 m²
Future Growth Margin 672 tonnes
A CH-47D Chinook approaches HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials. HMAS Gascoyne (M 85) can be seen in the background
A CH-47D Chinook approaches HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials. HMAS Gascoyne (M 85) can be seen in the background

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