According to the Australian Department of Defence in a press release dated August 13, 2020: “HMAS Canberra and embarked forces returned to Australia after successfully completing Regional Presence Deployment 2020.
“The Australian Defence Force has embarked on a regional deployment to conduct exercises within Southeast Asia and Hawaii over the coming months.
“The deployment demonstrates Australia’s commitment to sustaining strong and positive defence relationships with regional nations as well as the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.”
With the reworking of Australian defense envisaged in the new Australian strategy, the two amphibious ships could well see the role expand as part of task forces, and expanded use in sea denial missions as well.
This will require changes in capabilities onboard the ship, which are being envisaged with the replacement of the MRH-90 and the Army’s replacement of the Tiger helicopter.
What kind of rotorcraft package the Royal Navy and Australian Army decide to go with –most likely marinized — will have a significant impact on what kind of task force role which the Canberra class can play in future.
The featured photo shows HMAS Canberra pausing for a sunrise memorial near Savo Island, Solomon Islands, to commemorate the sinking of HMAS Canberra (I) at this location. 84 crew lost their lives when the ship sunk on 9 August 1942.