Bay class

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Bay class
RFA Lyme Bay in Portland 2007
RFA Lyme Bay in Portland 2007
Type Dock landing ship
units 4th

Swan Hunter
BAE Systems

Namesake Bays in England , Scotland and Wales
period of service

since 2006 United Kingdom since 2011 AustraliaUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom 

home port Marchwood in Hampshire
Technical specifications

16,190 tons


176.6 m


26.4 m


5.8 m


59 + 356 embarked soldiers


Diesel-electric system with two Azipods and bow thruster
4 main diesel generators : 2 × Wärtsilä 8L26 engines (2.240  kW each ) and 2 × Wärtsilä 12V26 engines (3.360 kW each)
1 Wärtsilä auxiliary diesel generator. Dynamic positioning system


18 knots


8,000 nm at 15 kn


Variable depending on the unit, some machine guns ,
prepared for the installation of a Phalanx CIWS and a 30 mm gun

Equipment for flight operations

Flight deck with two landing zones for helicopters in the weight class of CH-47 Chinook , prepared for the installation of a permanent hangar

Landing craft

one LCU
two LCVP
two Mexeflotes

Loading capacity

1200 meters running deck length for up to 150 light trucks or 32 Challenger 2 tanks and up to 24 20-foot or twelve 40-foot ISO containers for food or technical equipment

The Bay-class is a class of four Dock Landing Ships (LSD) of the British Royal Navy and the Australian Royal Australian Navy .

Officially, they are subordinate to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which belongs to the Royal Navy, and therefore carry the identifier RFA . They were put into service until 2007 and replaced the landing ships (LSL) of the round table class . The home port of all four ships is Marchwood in Hampshire . According to the Strategic Defense and Security Review 2010 (SDSR 2010) , one of the four ships was decommissioned and sold. On April 6, 2011, the Royal Australian Navy announced that it would purchase RFA Largs Bay , the first ship in its class, for £ 65 million.



In 1997, the Royal Navy decided to buy two new DropShips. The original designs provided for the construction of logistic landing ships (LSL) whose capacities largely corresponded to those of their predecessors. Just one year later, the Ministry of Defense changed its tender and now requested a dock landing ship with a well deck (LSD) to increase the amphibious capacity of the Royal Navy. In addition, it was decided, contrary to initial plans, to replace all ships of the Sir class and therefore increased the order to four LSD. On October 26, 2000 , the Royal Navy decided on the concept of the Swan Hunter shipyard. However, since this did not have the appropriate capacity to build all four ships in parallel, it was decided to build two ships at Swan Hunter in Wallsend and two at the shipyard of the losing competitor BAE Systems in Govan . The total cost of the four ships was estimated at around £ 300 million ( 450 million ).


The original plan was to put all four ships into service in 2005. The first delay occurred when the RFA Mounts Bay collided with a quay wall on April 9, 2004 while being launched at BAE Systems in Govan. The necessary repair work delayed the start of the test drives by six months. Due to the additionally required shipyard capacities, the launch of the sister ship Cardigan Bay had to be postponed by half a year.

The problems with the construction of Largs Bay and Lyme Bay at Swan Hunter were even more serious . Financial and technical problems at the shipyard meant that the construction of Lyme Bay had to be temporarily suspended in order to concentrate the existing capacities on the timely completion of Largs Bay . Swan Hunter was forced to postpone the Lyme Bay delivery date for another year to 2008. On July 13, 2006, the Department of Defense finally announced that the shell of Lyme Bay would be transferred to BAE Systems in Govan and completed there. This is the only way to bring the ship into service by 2007 and within the set budget. The financially troubled Swan Hunter shipyard suffered approximately £ 25 million in damage as a result , which contributed significantly to the company's bankruptcy in November 2006.

Amphibious capacities

Mounts Bay (L3008)

The Bay-class LSD are more than twice the size of their Sir-class predecessors. Each ship offers regular space for up to 356 additional soldiers, although this capacity can be doubled in an emergency. In addition, up to 24 20-foot or twelve 40-foot ISO containers with food or technical equipment can be taken on board. Up to 150 light trucks or 32 Challenger 2 tanks can be stowed on the vehicle decks.

Each LSD can carry one heavy and two light landing craft in the well deck, while their predecessors could only transport one light landing craft on davits . In addition, each LSD has two Mexeflotes attached to the side of the ship. These are motorized pontoons with which soldiers and equipment can be brought ashore and a temporary mooring can be set up in a short time. The helicopter deck offers space to deploy two Merlin EH-101 or CH-47 Chinook helicopters at the same time and to park a third one. The helicopters can be refueled, serviced and repaired on deck. There is no fixed hangar, but it can be retrofitted. In November 2007 , the RFA Largs Bay was the first ship of its class to receive a makeshift helicopter shelter.


The four ships are named after bays in England, Scotland and Wales. The original plan was to name the first two ships Quiberon Bay and Aboukir Bay in memory of the British victories over France in the battles of Quiberon and Abukir . After these plans were published, however, against the background of political correctness , a debate about this naming flared up . The Admiralty finally decided in 2002 for a more neutral naming with consideration for France.


United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom

Identifier Surname Shipyard Launch Commissioning Decommissioning annotation
L3006 RFA Largs Bay Swan Hunter July 19, 2003 December 17, 2006 April 2011 as HMAS Choules (L100) to the Royal Australian Navy
L3007 RFA Lyme Bay Swan Hunter 1 September 3, 2005 November 26, 2007 - active
L3008 RFA Mounts Bay BAE Systems April 8, 2004 September 15, 2006 - active
L3009 RFA Cardigan Bay BAE Systems April 9, 2005 March 6, 2007 - active

¹ Shell construction by Swan Hunter, completion by BAE Systems

AustraliaAustralia Australia

Identifier Surname Commissioning annotation
L100 HMAS Choules December 13, 2011 active

See also

Web links

Commons : Bay class  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Capability Boost as Navy Acquires new Ship , Royal Australian Navy. April 6, 2011. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012 Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /