HMAS Adelaide Makes Historic Docking at Upgraded Naval Wharf in Darwin

The Australian Defence Force has marked a significant moment as HMAS Adelaide, one of the Navy’s largest vessels, successfully docked at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin. This achievement follows the completion of the new Kuru Wharf, a crucial component of the broader redevelopment of Navy’s Fleet Base North in Coonawarra.

Captain David Shirvington, Commanding Officer of Coonawarra, emphasized the importance of this inaugural docking of a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) at the new facility. He stated that the ability to berth and maintain such a substantial vessel in northern Australia significantly enhances the force’s capacity to project naval influence in the region.

The visit served as a vital test of the facility’s capabilities, providing valuable insights for future operations. The 322-meter-long wharf, equipped with two approach dolphins, has garnered praise from Commander Nicholas Paterson, executive officer of HMAS Adelaide. He highlighted the wharf’s role as a force multiplier for LHD operations, stressing the importance of reliable berthing infrastructure in strategic areas.

The upgraded facility boasts exceptional support infrastructure, including ample staging areas for cargo and stores, strategically placed bollards for secure berthing, and a cutting-edge gangway system ensuring safe access despite Darwin’s significant tidal ranges.

The Canberra Class LHDs, capable of carrying up to 18 helicopters each, represent the pinnacle of Australia’s naval fleet, making this achievement a significant step forward in the nation’s maritime capabilities.

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