Landing helicopter dock

A landing helicopter dock (LHD) is a term used to denote a multipurpose amphibious assault ship which is capable of operating helicopters and has a well deck.[1] The United States Navy (USN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and NATO use the term as a hull classification symbol.

LHD vessels are built with a full flight deck similar in appearance to an aircraft carrier to operate utility and attack helicopters. Some can also operate tilt rotor aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey and VSTOL aircraft such as the AV-8 Harrier and the F-35B Lightning II. Examples of this kind of ship include the USN's Wasp class, French Navy's Mistral class and ships of the Spanish Navy's Juan Carlos I class including those designs based on the class, such as the Royal Australian Navy's Canberra class.[1][2] Other nations also use the designation for their vessels, such as the Republic of Korea Navy for its Dokdo class.[3]

USN warship classes that precede and follow the ships classed LHD are designated as LHA (Landing Helicopter Assault) and are interchangeable with LHDs, they also have well decks with the exception of the first two America-class ships, LHA-6 and LHA-7, which take the space for larger aviation facilities.[1]

BPC Dixmude
Dixmude in Jounieh bay, Lebanon 2012
USS Essex Thailand
USS Essex performing a stern gate mating with a landing craft

See also


  1. ^ a b c Petty, Dan. "Fact File: Amphibious Assault Ships - LHA/LHD/LHA(R)". U.S. Navy. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Dokdo Class: an LHD for the ROK". Defense Industry Daily. July 5, 2007. Retrieved August 20, 2015.

9LV is a Naval Combat Management System (CMS) from the Swedish company Saab. The 9LV was established when Philips Teleindustri AB (1975 renamed Philips Elektronikindustrier AB), a subsidiary of Philips of the Netherlands, was selected as the supplier of the torpedo and dual purpose gun fire control system including a radar fire control director for the Royal Swedish Navy Norrköping-class torpedo boats.Prior to the Norrköping class, Philips provided torpedo fire control to Spica-class and Plejad-class torpedo boats, as well as to Sjöormen-class and Draken-class submarines, and also anti-submarine fire control for the Halland-class destroyers and Visby-class frigate. However, not until the air defence fire control and radar fire control director was introduced, the name 9LV was established; LV is the Swedish abbreviation for "luftvärn", i.e. air defence.9LV is currently used on several classes of naval combatants, including the Australian Anzac-class frigates, the Swedish Visby-class corvettes, the Canadian Halifax-class frigates and the Australian Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships.

ABFC Ocean Shield

Australian Border Force Cutter (ABFC) Ocean Shield is an offshore patrol vessel operated by the Australian Border Force. The ship was originally ordered in 2010 by DOF Subsea as an offshore support vessel, and was laid down by STX OSV as MSV Skandi Bergen in 2011. In 2012, the Australian Department of Defence was seeking a short-term replacement for the decommissioned Kanimbla-class amphibious landing ships, and negotiated to purchase the under-construction Skandi Bergen from DOF Subsea. The ship was completed, and entered Royal Australian Navy (RAN) service in mid-2012 as the civilian-crewed Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield.

Following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Ocean Shield was one of several Australian vessels to take part in the search.

Ocean Shield's operation was only intended to cover the shortfall in RAN sealift capability until the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships entered service, and in 2014, the vessel was handed over to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (the precursor agency to the Border Force), with the ship's designation changing to Australian Customs Vessel (ACV) Ocean Shield. The restructuring of Customs to create the Border Force occurred in mid-2015, with Ocean Shield's prefix changing from ACV to ABFC.

Amphibious assault ship

An amphibious assault ship (also commando carrier or an amphibious assault carrier) is a type of amphibious warfare ship employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault. The design evolved from aircraft carriers converted for use as helicopter carriers (and as a result, are often mistaken for conventional fixed-wing aircraft carriers). Modern ships support amphibious landing craft, with most designs including a well deck. Coming full circle, some amphibious assault ships also support V/STOL fixed-wing aircraft, now having a secondary role as aircraft carriers.The role of the amphibious assault ship is fundamentally different from that of a standard aircraft carrier: its aviation facilities have the primary role of hosting helicopters to support forces ashore rather than to support strike aircraft. However, some are capable of serving in the sea-control role, embarking aircraft like Harrier fighters for combat air patrol and helicopters for anti-submarine warfare or operating as a safe base for large numbers of STOVL fighters conducting air support for an expeditionary unit ashore. Most of these ships can also carry or support landing craft, such as air-cushioned landing craft (hovercraft) or LCUs.

The largest fleet of these types is operated by the United States Navy, including the Wasp class dating back to 1989 and the very similar America-class ships that debuted in 2014. Amphibious assault ships are also operated by the French Navy, the Italian Navy, the Republic of Korea Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, the Brazilian Navy, and the Spanish Navy.

The term amphibious assault ship is often used interchangeably with other ship classifications. It applies to all large-deck amphibious ships such as the Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH), Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA), and Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD).

Amphibious warfare ships of Australia

The Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army have operated 24 amphibious warfare ships. These ships have been used to transport Army units and supplies during exercises and operational deployments.

Canberra-class landing helicopter dock

The Canberra class is a ship class of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Planning to upgrade the navy's amphibious fleet began in 2000, based on Australian experiences leading the International Force for East Timor peacekeeping operation. With a new climate for growing Australian Navy spending, a desire existed for forward defence capability for landing and supporting troops on Asian territory, that had never existed in Australian history, even with the old Majestic-class light fleet carriers, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney in the 1970s. In 2004, French company Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and Spanish company Navantia were invited to tender proposals, with DCN offering the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship and Navantia proposing the "Buque de Proyección Estratégica" design (later commissioned as Juan Carlos I). The Spanish design was selected in 2007, with Navantia responsible for construction of the ships from the keel to the flight deck, and BAE Systems Australia handling the fabrication of the superstructure and fitting out.

Construction of the first ship, HMAS Canberra, commenced in late 2008, with the hull launched in early 2011, and sea trials in early 2014. Canberra was commissioned in November 2014. Work on the second vessel, HMAS Adelaide, started in early 2010. Adelaide was commissioned in December 2015. They are the largest vessels ever operated by the RAN, with a displacement of 27,500 tonnes (27,100 long tons; 30,300 short tons).

The ships are home-ported at Fleet Base East in Sydney (which has prompted complaints from nearby residents about machinery noise, exhaust fumes, and blocked views) and will regularly operate out of Townsville, the location of Lavarack Barracks, home of the Australian Army's 3rd Brigade. In addition to being located in North Queensland close to Asia and the Pacific Islands, one of the 3rd Brigade's infantry battalions, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR), was selected to become the Army's specialist amphibious infantry battalion.

ENS Gamal Abdel Nasser

ENS Gamal Abdel Nasser (L1010) is an Egyptian Navy amphibious assault ship, a type of helicopter carrier, of the French-designed Mistral class. It was originally built for the Russian Navy and underwent sea trials. Subsequently, the contract was cancelled by France and agreement on compensation reached with the Russian government. Egypt and France concluded the deal to acquire the two former Russian Mistral for roughly 950 million euros. Egypt is the first and to date only country in Africa and the Middle East to possess a helicopter carrier.

Endurance-class landing platform dock

The Endurance-class landing platform dock ships (LPD) are the largest class of ships in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). They were designed and built by Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine to replace the old County-class tank landing ships (LST). The four ships form the 191 Squadron of the RSN.

HMAS Adelaide

Three ships of the Royal Australian Navy have been named HMAS Adelaide, after Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia:

HMAS Adelaide (1918) was a Town-class light cruiser commissioned in 1922 and decommissioned in 1946

HMAS Adelaide (FFG 01) was an Adelaide-class frigate commissioned in 1980 and decommissioned in 2008

HMAS Adelaide (L01) is a Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ship commissioned in 2015 and active as of 2016

HMAS Adelaide (L01)

HMAS Adelaide (L01) is the second of two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Construction of the ship started at Navantia's Spanish shipyard with steel-cutting in February 2010. The ship was laid down in February 2011, and launched on 4 July 2012. Delivery to Australia for fitting out at BAE Systems Australia's facilities in Victoria was scheduled for 2013, but did not occur until early 2014. Despite construction delays and predictions the ship was commissioned in December 2015.

HMAS Canberra (L02)

HMAS Canberra (L02) is the lead ship of the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock in service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It is the current flagship of the RAN fleet. Construction of the ship started in Spain in 2008, with the hull launched by Navantia in 2011. The hull was then transported to Australia in late 2012 for completion by BAE Systems Australia. Canberra was commissioned on 28 November 2014.

Helicopter carrier

A helicopter carrier is a type of aircraft carrier whose primary purpose is to operate helicopters. A helicopter carrier has a large flight deck that occupies a large part of the ship, which can extend the full length of the ship like HMS Ocean of the Royal Navy (RN), or only partway, usually aft, as in the Soviet Navy's Moskva class, the Chinese Navy's Type 0891A or the RN's RFA Argus. It often also has a hangar deck for the storage of aircraft.

Pure helicopter carriers are difficult to define in the 21st century. The advent of STOVL aircraft such as the Harrier Jump Jet, and now the F-35, have complicated the classification; the United States Navy's Wasp class, for instance, carries six to eight Harriers as well as over 20 helicopters. Only smaller carriers unable to operate the Harrier and older pre-Harrier-era carriers can be regarded as true helicopter carriers. In many cases, other carriers, able to operate STOVL aircraft, are classified as "light aircraft carriers". Other vessels, such as the Wasp class, are also capable of embarking troops such as marines and landing them ashore; they are classified as amphibious assault ships.

Helicopter carriers have been used as anti-submarine warfare carriers and amphibious assault ships.

HMS Hermes and two of her sisters were 22,000 ton fleet carriers converted to "commando carriers" only able to operate helicopters. Hermes was later converted to a STOVL carrier.

Italian ship Trieste

Trieste (L9890) is a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) of the Italian Navy. It is expected to replace the Giuseppe Garibaldi around 2022.The ship will be equipped with heavy and medium helicopters (EH101 and NH90 respectively) and Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II aircraft. It will have a floatable dock below the hangar level able to accommodate amphibious landing vessels such as LCM (new Cantieri Navali Vittoria LCM23 type), LCAC, and newer L-CAT (Landing Catamaran) vessels. It also can carry Ariete MBT, B1 Centauro tank destroyers, and 300 soldiers. Its base will be in Taranto.The unit is being built at Fincantieri’s Castellamare di Stabia facility near Naples. The first cut was 12 January 2017 and completed construction of the hull on 25 May 2019, while the official delivery to the Italian Navy will be around the first half of 2022.

It is the largest Italian military ship built after the Second World War.It will be the largest vessel of the Italian navy along with Cavour.

LCM2000-class landing craft mechanised

The LCM2000 was a class of Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM) built for the Australian Army by Australian Defence Industries (ADI) (now Thales Australia). The LCMs were ordered in 2001 and the first craft was originally scheduled to enter service with the Army in 2003. The craft proved too large for their intended purpose, however, and were only used for training and minor exercises before the project was cancelled in February 2011.

Landing platform helicopter

Landing platform helicopter (LPH) is a term used by some navies to denote a type of amphibious warfare ship designed primarily to operate as a launch and recovery platform for helicopters and other VTOL aircraft. As such, they are considered a type of helicopter carrier.

Under the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) document for reporting vessels, LPH is a short form designator used for "Amphibious Assault Ship, Helicopter" defined as a "large helicopter carrier" for carrying and deploying around 1,800 assault troops using its own aircraft, but for which use of landing craft is "not a principal function". For ships of this hull classification in the Royal Navy, LPH is a direct acronym for "Landing Platform Helicopter", while the United States Navy referred to its vessels within this classification as "amphibious assault ships". Regardless of the terminology, all vessels classified as an LPH possess essentially similar capabilities.

The Royal Navy also used the term "Commando Carrier", which it applied to aircraft carriers converted to helicopter only operations. The RN now operates one vessel that it classifies as an LPH, HMS Ocean. Following the British government's decision to withdraw its Harrier aircraft at the end of 2010, the former light fleet carrier HMS Illustrious also performed this role, but has now been decommissioned.

The LPH classification was used by the U.S. Navy for the amphibious assault ships of the Iwo Jima class, a converted Casablanca-class escort carrier and three converted Essex-class aircraft carriers. No ships of this classification are currently in active service with the U.S. Navy, having been replaced with multi-purpose ships classified under NATO naming conventions as landing helicopter dock or landing helicopter assault ships.

List of active Royal Australian Navy ships

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet is made up of 50 commissioned warships as of October 2018.

The main strength is the ten frigates and two destroyers of the surface combatant force: eight Anzac class frigates, two Adelaide class frigates, and two Hobart class destroyers. Six Collins-class boats make up the submarine service, although due to the maintenance cycle not all submarines are active at any time. The issues have now been fixed and five submarines are available for service. Amphibious warfare assets include two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships and the landing ship HMAS Choules. Thirteen Armidale-class patrol boats perform coastal and economic exclusion zone patrols, and four Huon-class vessels are used for minehunting and clearance (another two are commissioned but in reserve since October 2011). Replenishment at sea is provided by the Sirius, while the two Leeuwin-class and four Paluma-class vessels perform survey and charting duties.

In addition to the commissioned warships, the RAN operates the sail training ship Young Endeavour and two Cape-class patrol boats acquired from the Australian Border Force. Other auxiliaries and small craft are not operated by the RAN, but by DMS Maritime, who are contracted to provide support services.The lion's share of the RAN fleet is divided between Fleet Base East (HMAS Kuttabul, in Sydney) and Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling, near Perth). Mine warfare assets are located at HMAS Waterhen (also in Sydney), while HMAS Cairns in Cairns and HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin host the navy's patrol and survey vessels.

List of aircraft carriers in service

This is a list of aircraft carriers which are currently in service, under maintenance or refit, in reserve, under construction, or being updated. An aircraft carrier is a warship with a full-length flight deck, hangar and facilities for arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft. The list only refers to the status of the ship, not availability or condition of an air wing. This includes helicopter carriers and also amphibious assault ships, if the vessel's primary purpose is to carry, arm, deploy, and recover aircraft.

Type 075 landing helicopter dock

The Type 075-class landing helicopter dock is a Chinese amphibious assault ship that is now under construction by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company. The Type 075 helicopter dock is a new generation of amphibious assault vessel and far larger than similar ships previously constructed for the PLA Navy. The Type

075 would give Chinese navy ability to launch various types of helicopters to attack naval vessels, enemy ground forces or submarines. The vessels will also be able to deploy landing craft and troops, plus house command and control operations.

USS Essex (LHD-2)

USS Essex (LHD-2) is a Wasp-class Landing Helicopter Dock in service with the United States Navy. The amphibious assault ship was built at what is now Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was launched 23 February 1991 and commissioned on 17 October 1992 while moored at North Island NAS. She is the fifth ship named for Essex County, Massachusetts. Essex served as the command ship for Expeditionary Strike Group Seven until replaced by USS Bonhomme Richard on 23 April 2012.

Wasp-class amphibious assault ship

The Wasp class is a class of Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious assault ships operated by the United States Navy. Based on the Tarawa class, with modifications to operate more advanced aircraft and landing craft, the Wasp class is capable of transporting almost the full strength of a United States Marine Corps Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and landing them in hostile territory via landing craft or helicopters as well as providing air support via AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft or F-35B Lightning II stealth strike-fighters. All Wasp-class ships were built by Ingalls Shipbuilding, at Pascagoula, Mississippi, with the lead ship, USS Wasp, commissioned on 29 July 1989. Eight Wasp-class ships were built, and as of June 2018, all eight are active.


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