RFA Bay-class landing ships worth considering

Two recently posted articles ask if Canada should purchase a surplus Bay-class Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) from the UK. The 2010 UK Strategic and Defence Review could result in one of the four 16,000 tonne Bay-class LSD(A)s being decommissioned.

The Bay-class LSD(A)s entered service in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary between 2005 and 2007. They can accommodate two large helicopters on the flight deck, 32 tanks or 150 light trucks, one LCU or two LCVP in the docking well, two Mexeflote powered rafts, 24 ISO containers, and 356 troops.  They can do all this, with a crew of only 60, and have a range of up to 8,000 nautical miles.

The two posted articles, Steve Daly’s “A Modest Proposal” in the October edition of the Canadian American Strategic Review website and David Pugliese’s “Defense Watch” article entitled, “Should Canada Buy HMS Ark Royal and get into the Aircraft Carrier Business” [which goes on in the second half to consider the Bay-class ships] published in the Ottawa Citizen on October 24th, offer more details and opinions on a potential deal.

I believe the opportunity to acquire a Bay-class LSD(A) for the Canadian Forces merits public discussion and look forward to reading the posts of other Broadsides readers.