28 July 2011
An article in some New Limited papers today (HMAS Lemon Scented 28 Jul 2011) concerning Defence’s purchase of ex-Royal Fleet Auxiliary amphibious ship Largs Bay is misleading.
The article discusses the supersession report submitted by the ship’s previous Chief Engineer in February this year. Supersession reports are the formal means by which a ship’s engineer submits his own assessment of the materiel state of his ship prior to handing over his engineering responsibilities to another engineer. The report is principally used to inform the development of the maintenance and repair package prior to the ship’s next operating period.
Defence was aware of the report and it was taken into account in the development and negotiation of the package of refit work that is currently being progressed in a shipyard in the UK.
The February supersession report by the Chief Engineer was not extraordinary and is similar to other routine reports submitted by ships engineers.
The current refit activity addresses the key issues raised in the supersession report.
It is also worth pointing out that international shipping firm, Teekay Shipping Australia, thoroughly inspected the ship prior to the submission of Australia’s bid and found that:
“the ship presents very well, and from a technical point of view, there are no major defects.”
Teekay was also engaged on the sea trial and have provided an updated report that confirms their previous assessment.
Largs Bay was well constructed and overall remains in good materiel condition. The ship was in operational service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary immediately prior to commencing refit and is not “mothballed”. I am confident that Largs Bay will provide excellent service in Navy once the ship arrives in Australia at the end of this year.
Vice Admiral Ray Griggs
Chief of Navy