The ‘shakedown’ cruise of the Royal Australian Navy’s new helicopter carrier Canberra was literally that, as the ship encountered excessive vibration at high speed, leaks and electrical problems during her sea trials while en route from Williamstown to Sydney in May.
The source of the vibrations was attributed to cavitation caused by the incorrect operation of the ships two propulsion pods, which were not aligned in tandem as required above speeds of eight knots. Canberra was calling at the New South Wales capital to be dry-docked for the hull to receive its final coat of paint and for flight deck painting.
A crack in the hull, thought to have been caused during the heavy-lift transit from Spain, was also repaired. Other problems with an electrical starter box and the anchor windlass revealed by sea trials were also fixed. Canberra is scheduled to return to sea for further sea trials in July ahead of her delivery later this year.