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Expanded Training Systems Centre ready to train next-gen Navy crews

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced the completion of the $24 million extension of the Navy Training Systems Centre at Randwick Barracks by St Hilliers, in time for the first Navy training course that commences this week.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced the completion of the $24 million extension of the Navy Training Systems Centre at Randwick Barracks by St Hilliers, in time for the first Navy training course that commences this week.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the new facilities will support specialised training for crews of the two new Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships being procured for the Royal Australian Navy.

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The $24 million upgrade to the Navy Training Systems Centre is part of the Department of Defence's $220.5 million upgrade of facilities at HMAS Stirling, Rockingham, Western Australia, Randwick Barracks, Sydney, NSW, and Garden Island Defence Precinct, Sydney, NSW.

Minister Price said, "The training centre extension includes specialist training rooms and simulators to train Navy’s crews in how to operate and maintain the new Supply Class vessels."

These upgrade works are to support an enhanced Maritime Operational Support Capability to the Royal Australian Navy.

"Under the government’s Defence Policy for Industry Participation, St Hilliers was successful in exceeding its 75 per cent target for a local industry participation rate, using local businesses for 84 per cent of the sub-contract work," Minister Price explained. 

Proposed works include:

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  1. HMAS Stirling, Rockingham WA:
    extension of the existing Armament Wharf;
    upgrading the engineering services at Diamantina Pier;
    constructing additional live-in accommodation;
    constructing a shared-use facility for operational support; and
    constructing a maintenance hardstand area.
  2. Randwick Barracks, Sydney NSW:
    constructing a new Training Centre as an extension of the existing Navy Training Systems Centre
  3. Garden Island Defence Precinct, Sydney NSW:
    minor refurbishment of existing building 122 to provide a remote monitoring station for the vessel’s integrated platform management system.

The proposed development works, and upgrades are expected to commence in mid-2018, subject to parliamentary approval, with construction works to be completed by 2020.

This capability will comprise a single class of AOR vessel, to replace the current ageing vessels HMA Ships Sirius and Success. To support the introduction into service of this enhanced capability, suitable facilities and support infrastructure will be required.

"These works are the first to be completed under the Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub-program, which involves approximately $2 billion of new facilities and infrastructure works to be delivered across Australia over the next seven years," Minister Price added. 

The first of these Supply Class vessels, HMAS Supply, is planned to enter service in 2020, with full operational capability scheduled for 2022. The second Supply Class vessel, HMAS Stalwart, is expected to enter service in 2022.

HMA Ships Success and Sirius will be replaced with a single class of double-hulled, AOR ship to be built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. The two Australian ships are based on the Spanish Navy's Cantabria Class AORs.

The ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.

In addition to replenishment, the vessels can be used to combat against environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations following a natural disaster.

HMAS Supply was launched at the Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol, Spain, on 24 November 2018. The following day, in accordance with shipbuilding tradition, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, positioned a coin under where the hull will be constructed for Stalwart.

Expanded Training Systems Centre ready to train next-gen Navy crews
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