Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The RAN landing ship HMAS Choules, bought from UK last year may need major repair

The media reported that defects were detected in the propulsion system of the vessel, and it may be out of action for as much as 12 months. RAN had bought the amphibious landing ship last year, which was then celebrated as one of the most significant purchases by the Navy. According to the naval authorities, a major defect was defected on one of the transformers, which passes electricity towards the propulsion system. The speed of the vessel was cut in to half as a result of the failure, and the RAN was forced to cancel the planned naval operations last week.
Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, senior RAN official claimed that the defect was very unusual for this type of ship, and a full scale naval investigation will be launched by the navy, to ascertain the actual reasons behind the failure. Currently the ship is docked at the Fleet Base East, in Sydney. Reports of overheating and other defects were reported from the vessel during last year itself, which were brushed aside by the naval authorities.
The vessel, which is only 6 years old, was bought by the RAN in 2011. At that time the engineers had claimed that the vessel is in excellent condition. However, after the defects were found earlier, the RAN had submitted a status report to the Australian minister of defence, Stephen Smith last month. Meanwhile senior RAN official claimed that the Navy has already contacted the manufacturers of the transformers, so that the defective ones can be replaced.
The HMAS Choules, a 16,200 tonne vessel was built by the British ship builder Swan Hunter, from the county of Tyne and Wear. The RAN acquired the vessel on 6 April 2011, four and a half years after its commissioning in to the Royal Navy. The vessel is armed with various naval guns such as the Mk 44 and the FN MAG. It is capable of transporting as much as 24 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).

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