Landing Craft, Heavy (LCH)

The Landing Craft, Heavy (LCH) is an extremely important vessel, capable of moving large amounts of cargo, personnel and equipment from larger ships to shore. A very shallow draft allows these ships to deliver troops and equipment to areas otherwise unreachable.

The Royal Australian Navy currently uses the Balikpapan Class LCH.

The LCH is an all-welded twin-screw vessel, able to trans-ship cargo and supplies from ships lying offshore to water terminals or across the beach. Maximum cargo load is governed by the load-fuel balance and varies between 140 and 180 tonnes. A typical load of 175 tonnes gives the LCH a range of 1300 nautical miles, increasing to 2280 nautical miles for a load of 150 tonnes.

Usual Army equipment lift can comprise three battle tanks, twenty-three quarter-tonne trucks or thirteen armoured personnel carriers.

From the original fleet of six vessels, three LCH's currently form part of the Royal Australian Navy fleet. HMA Ships Balikpapan, Betano and Wewak were decommissioned in December 2012.

Following is a list of Landing Crafts Heavy currently commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy.

Name Pennant Commissioned Commanding Officer
HMAS Brunei L 127 5 January 1973 Lieutenant Commander Matthew Richardson
HMAS Labuan (II) L 128 9 March 1973
HMAS Tarakan (II) L 129 15 June 1973