• HMAS Canberra off the coast of Townsville. Defence
    HMAS Canberra off the coast of Townsville. Defence

Defence has reached a settlement with Navantia over repair costs for RAN's two Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs).

According to the ABC, the settlement is 'favourable' for Defence, although exact figures were not given. In a statement, Defence also told the national broadcaster that the two ships are now largely problem-free and can operate 'without significant issues'.

"Defence has worked very closely with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and industry to identify all issues that were affecting the performance of the Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock propulsion pod system," a spokesperson said.

"Measures have been implemented that have enabled the Canberra Class to operate without further significant issues."

Issues with the LHDs stemmed from irregularities within their external azimuth propulsion pods. Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, in answer to questions from Labor Senator Kim Carr during a Senate hearing in 2017, confirmed that RAN had observed the migration of oils across seals and tiny metal particulates in the pod lube oil. Oils of different viscosities were also found to have mixed within the pods of both ships.

The problems saw HMAS Adelaide dry-docked in Sydney's Garden Island naval base.

Each ship is propelled by two Siemens Navantia 11-megawatt azimuth thrusters, each with an onboard electric motor, driving 4.5 metre diameter propellors. The electricity is provided by a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) system.

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