The Royal Australian Navy is another step closer to welcoming its new fleet of support tankers into service, following the successful launch of NUSHIP Stalwart at a ceremony in Ferrol, Spain over the weekend.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the launch of the second Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessel marked an important milestone in Australia’s $90 billion investment in the largest regeneration of Navy since the Second World War.
The two Supply Class ships, to be named Supply and Stalwart, will replace the current HMA Ships Success and Sirius. These ships are based on the vessel SPS Cantabria of the Spanish Navy, adapted to meet Australian standards and requirements. This type of logistics ship can simultaneously supply three ships with fuel, water, food, ammunition and other materials.
Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, said NUSHIP Stalwart’s launch would support Navy’s readiness to conduct sustained operations at sea and position Navy as an agile, resilient and lethal fighting force.
"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," VADM Noonan said.
He added, "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."
For a look at the ceremony of NUSHIP Stalwart's launch, please scroll through the image library above.