Landing Ship, Dock (LSD)

The Royal Australian Navy currently uses the Bay Class LSD.

The Bay Class are based on the Royal Schelde Enforcer design. It has a large flight deck aft which can accommodate two Chinook helicopters and a docking well in the stern capable of operating a LCM-8 or two LCVP landing craft.

The military lift includes the capacity to load and transport up to 32 Abrams tanks, or 150 light trucks. They can carry a normal load of 356 troops, or overloaded with 700. They are designed to operate over the horizon using helicopters and landing craft, to get men and equipment ashore.

The Bay Class is operated by the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary to provide the United Kingdom (UK) with a significantly enhanced amphibious capability. All four ships of the class are presently fully operational, however one, Largs Bay, is due to be decommissioned under the UK's 2010 Strategic and Defence Review.

On 17 March 2011, the Department of Defence announced that the RAN would be bidding for Largs Bay, this was followed on 6 April by news that a A$100 million (£65 million) bid had been successful.

The ex Royal Fleet Auxilliary Landing Ship Dock Largs Bay was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Choules and it entered service with the RAN in early 2012.

Name Pennant Commissioned Commanding Officer
HMAS Choules L100 13 December 2011 Commander Dave Graham