Navantia has launched the second of two new Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) vessels for the RAN at its Ferrol, Spain shipyard.
The launch of the vessel, to be named Stalwart in RAN service, follows the launch of her sister ship, NUSHIP Supply last November. The two vessels are being acquired under Project SEA 1654 Phase 3, and will replace the former HMAS Success which was decommissioned in July, and HMAS Sirius which is scheduled to pay off in 2020.
“The delivery into service of the Supply class replenishment vessels from next year will provide Navy with vital afloat logistics support to enable our ships to remain at sea longer,” Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds said in a statement. “These ships will ensure Navy can make sustained and long-term contributions to regional and international security in support of our national interest, and further our strong relationships with countries across Southeast Asia and the Pacific.”
Chief of Navy, VADM Michael Noonan added, “The Supply class AOR vessels will enable Navy to maintain a long-term presence at sea and provide combat support to our frigates, destroyers and combatants wherever they operate in the world. NUSHIPS Stalwart and Supply will extend our warships’ endurance and operational range by providing bulk fuels, potable water, stores and explosive ordnance to naval vessels operating at sea.”
Both Stalwart and Supply are based on the Spanish Navy’s ESPS Cantabria, a vessel which was seconded to the RAN in 2013/14 while HMAS Success underwent her double-hull upgrade. It is expected NUSHIP Supply will be delivered to the RAN later this year, with Stalwart to follow in 2020.
An infographic on the Supply class AOR can be found on the Navantia website.