Australian Navy commissions Bay Class Landing Ship HMAS Choules
Royal Australian Navy now has enhanced amphibious warfare capability
with the commissioning in Fremantle on December 13 2011 of Australia’s
newest warship, the Bay Class Landing Ship HMAS Choules.
Choules, a former Royal Fleet Auxiliary which served the Royal Navy
under the name Largs Bay, was renamed after Chief Petty Officer Claude
Choules, Australia’s last surviving World War I veteran. Mr. Choules
passed away in his home city of Perth in May 2011, aged 110.
HMAS Choules is now at the forefront of a new generation of amphibious
capability for Navy in the period leading up to the arrival of the Landing
Helicopter Dock ships in 2014.
Ex Royal Fleet Auxiliary LPD Largs Bay HMAS Choules
(picture: Royal Australian Navy)
The ship has been proven as a robust amphibious capability,
having provided humanitarian relief as a part of the international response
to the Haiti earthquake last year.
The 176 metre long vessel has a crew of 158 officers and sailors, and
can accommodate two large helicopters, 150 light trucks and 350 troops.
She also carries two mexeflotes, which are powerful landing raft designed
to move goods and vehicles between the ship and the shore.
Following her commissioning in Western Australia, HMAS Choules will
transit to the east coast to her home port at Fleet Base East in Sydney
on 21 December.