18 December 2019
In early 2011, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) purchased the Largs Bay from the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary in order to help support its operations around the world. After extensive sea trials to confirm the condition of the vessel and a major refit to make her suitable for RAN services, she was commissioned as HMAS Choules in December 2011.
As a 16,000-tonne amphibious Landing Ship Dock capable of carrying over 300 troops, 23 Abrams tanks, 150 light trucks, landing craft and capable of operating Navy helicopters, it expanded the RAN fleet’s formidable capability to get landing forces and equipment ashore. However, a number of the warship’s onboard systems were still retained in the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary configuration, so the Navy undertook a three-year project to carry out the necessary engineering changes that would bring the ship fully into line with Australian Navy requirements.
Taking advantage of our decades of maritime defence and engineering expertise, the vessel’s in-service support contractor, A&P appointed us as in-house design support. This represents the first time that we’ve had such a close and involved relationship with an International Ship Security Certificate and a major escalation in the ability to undertake engineering services on an in-service vessel.
Our in-house engineering team provided a wide range of essential engineering services and were embedded in the project to guarantee a quick response and easy access to the vessel and relevant Government Furnished Equipment (GFX). In addition, a “reach back” hours component allows the RAN to take advantage of any aspect of our expertise within the project and allows them to make full use of our experience as an additional resource when required during busy periods.
We’re proud to help support this key element of the Australian Defence Force’s future military operations and support its ability to conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief throughout the region.
This article is part of #BestOfBMT 2019, featuring our best projects throughout the year.
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