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The Royal Australian Navy has commissioned HMAS Canberra today at Fleet Base East at Sidney. Each of the two ships to be deployed will be able land a force of more than 1,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.
The second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) HMAS Adelaide ship was launched at the Navantia Ferrol-Fene shipyard in Spain. According to Navantia, this milestone was achieved four and half months ahead of schedule.
Submarines form an essential core of today’s naval fleets as a result of their flexible mission capabilities and ability to complement other strategic resources. Worldwide, 41 countries possess submarine capability and together operate 450 submarines. Most of these nations are modernizing their fleets or increasing them as a result of changing security situations. A total of 154 submarines are to be procured over the forecast period, costing US$186.3 billion.
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Australian defense is considered one of the world's growth markets, even in the recent tough years. In 2009, the Australian government launched a new military modernization plan to upgrade its forces in order to counteract the threat posed by rising global terrorism, changing political dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region and the rising number of peacekeeping operations undertaken by Australian forces. With the exception of an anomaly in 2010, defense expenditure as a percentage of Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected rise consistently through 2016. In the years after, this rate is expected to be reduced again, to cover increased sustainment costs.
Facing growing delays in the parallel construction of three Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) and two Landing Helicopter Dock Ships (LHD), the Australian Ministry of defense and program manager AWD Alliance decided to redistribute the construction work among three Australian shipyards currently involved in the program, and transfer part of the work to the Navantia shipyard in Spain.