Monday, May 29, 2006
Mini Aircraft Carriers for Australian Navy
The Australian Defence Force is acquiring two new amphibious ships under the defence project plan JP2048. A decision will be made by 2007 between one of two designs to be built in Australia: the Spanish "Navantia" or French "Armaris Mistral". The ships are planned to carry 1000 personnel, six helicopters and 150 vehicles, including the M1A1 Abrams tank.
While described as "Landing Helicopter Dock" (LHD) ships, they look to the lay person like small aircraft carriers and could operate fixed wing V/STOL aircr, such as AV-8B Harrier II or the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, but this is not planned.