Austal built USS Canberra visits Sydney


Perth international shipbuilder has welcomed the arrival of the Austal USA built USS Canberra to Sydney ahead of the vessel’s commissioning on Saturday.

Originally designed at Austal Australia and built by Austal at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Canberra sailed close to the Royal Australian Navy vessel HMAS Canberra.

Austal described the arrival of the 127 metre long trimaran vessel as a proud moment for the company.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the vessel was a long way from the company’s founding when it built aluminium crayfishing boats in WA.

Gregg said: “Watching an Austal-built US Navy warship sail into Sydney Harbour, with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background, was an absolutely special moment for our Company.

“Austal’s Alabama-based shipyard is currently contracted on 11 different vessel programmes for the US Navy and Coast Guard, and it is a source of pride seeing this vessel visiting our home.

“Plus, its Australian and historical heritage makes it all the more special.”

When officially commissioned this Saturday, the USS Canberra will be the only US Navy vessel ever to be commissioned outside the United States.

According to the company, this is a reflection of both the important relationship that exists between the USA and Australia as well as the ship’s Australian heritage.

“The vessel’s distinct triamaran design, which gives it a shallow draught and incredible stability to operate in inshore (littoral) waters, is based on a design pioneered at the Company’s Henderson shipyards in Western Australia.”

The vessel, one of 19 Littoral Combat Ships the company’s USA subsidiary is building for the US Navy, is capable of sustaining speeds of 44 knots, according to reports.

In addition to its US orderbook, Austal is also constructing two vessel classes for the Commonwealth of Australia at its WA shipyards, the Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boat for the Royal Australian Navy and the Guardian Class Patrol Boats to be gifted to Pacific Island nations.

Further reading:
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Austal here.

Picture: Austal

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