LPA's pulled from sea duty

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MikeJames
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LPA's pulled from sea duty

Postby MikeJames » 28 Sep 2010 20:44

DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE
27 Sept 2010


HMA Ships Manoora and Kanimbla alongside for maintenance

Information provided to the Chief of Navy by the Landing Platform Amphibious (LPA) Sea‑Worthiness Board, an independent body that provides robust governance advice to the Chief of Navy, about platform sea-worthiness and potential risks associated with operating the ship class has resulted in an “operational pause” being initiated for the Navy’s two LPAs, HMA Ships Manoora and Kanimbla.

The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO, CSM, RAN, said while the decision to keep both ships alongside is precautionary, the safety of those on board must come first.

“Our LPAs are a key element of Navy capability, but if their operation has potential to impact on safety then this must be addressed quickly and openly,” VADM Crane said.

Specialist engineers and the Navy’s Sea Training Group will now carry out a closer inspection of each ship’s engineering systems, maintenance arrangements and general condition, to ensure that they can be operated safely and effectively to meet national requirements.

“We will make every effort to get both ships back to sea as soon as possible,” Vice Admiral Crane said. “But we won’t be cutting corners. While I acknowledge the significant effort to improve the state of the LPAs during 2010, the ships will now remain alongside until I am convinced potential problems highlighted by the LPA Sea-Worthiness Board have been addressed.”

The operational pause is not related to the recent small fire on board HMAS Kanimbla. That incident remains under separate investigation.

HMA Ships Manoora and Kanimbla will remain alongside in Sydney until given the all clear.

ENDS

I had been aware that there were concerns about their effectiveness, given their age, I was not however aware that it was this bad.

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Re: LPA's pulled from sea duty

Postby Skipper46 » 29 Sep 2010 18:09

Not only their age I would say but the operational tempo for these ships hyas been very high since we got them. Needs to be borne in mind by the planners when they decide how many ships the RAN gets ie buy x and flog the guts out of them and break them early or y ( x+) where they will last the distance. This is where force planning comes unstuck in a budget sense.
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Re: LPA's pulled from sea duty

Postby MikeJames » 03 Nov 2010 22:22

More on the LPA's.

Rusting warships HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Manoora will sail again after refit:
Mark Dodd From: The Australian November 02, 2010 10:57AM

Two ageing navy warships undergoing an unscheduled $17 million refit in Sydney will be put to sea again, the navy says.
However both will be retired by the time the Royal Australian Navy gets two new helicopter carriers, a navy spokesman said today.

HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Manoora, two rusting 8500 tonne warships bought at knockdown prices from the US navy in early 1990s, were pulled out of service last month for emergency repairs.

An emailed reply from Defence to queries from The Australian about the repairs mistakenly included an internal department memo describing the refit as a “sensitive issue”.

Both 40-year-old warships are now anchored at Sydney's Garden Island dockyard undergoing an unscheduled $17 million refit to fix problems officially described as ranging from “minor to major”.

Both vessels will be seaworthy and ready for operations “early next year,” said a navy spokesman, denying the ships would never put to sea again.

Both ships are suffering extensive corrosion, a problem which first surfaced in the mid-90s during their conversion to amphibious transports - additional work which added tens of millions of dollars to the refit cost.

Corrosion has again been cited as one of the latest maintenance concerns.

“They will go back to sea. Yes, they are old and need some fixing - but in an emergency they could go to sea now.

“They are in a state that needs repair but we (navy) work them hard,” the spokesman said.

Apart from rust removal, the extensive refit includes work on the ship's engines, propulsion and fuel systems, power plant, air conditioning, desalinator and deck crane.

It's understood the warships will be paid off when two new 27,000 tonne Canberra class amphibious assault ships are commissioned in 2014/15.

Appearing before a Senate estimates committee a fortnight ago, navy chief Vice Admiral Russ Crane confirmed one of the Kanimbla class ships would be paid off in 2012 and its sister ship in 2014.

He said a “masthead to keel” inspection was underway by navy surveyors to assess any further structural issues.

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