Mechanical issues with two of Australia’s landing helicopter dock ships won’t have a major impact on upcoming Talisman Saber drills with the United States, Australian defense officials said.
The HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide — $3 billion mini-aircraft carriers capable of handling more than 1,000 troops, 100 vehicles and up to 18 helicopters — have had serious mechanical problems this year. Engineers have reported problems with the ships’ diesel-electric powered propellers, including oil leaks on the Canberra and metal fragments in lubricant on the Adelaide, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported last month.
The Adelaide was forced into dry dock, and operations were restricted on the Canberra just weeks from the start of Talisman Saber, a biennial series of exercises involving more than 30,000 Australian and U.S. personnel in late June and July.
“[The Adelaide] will not participate while it undergoes maintenance in dry dock,” Australian Defence officials said in a May 27 email.
The Canberra is still being assessed, officials said.
“The wider spectrum of maritime training outcomes, of which amphibious operations is just a part, are expected to be achieved during [Talisman Saber],” officials said. “Most importantly, the exercising of the Australian Defence Force’s amphibious capability is not solely dependent upon the participation of one, or both, [ships].” (end of excerpt)
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