HMAS Supply, which was commissioned in April this year, recently completed its first replenishment at sea (RAS) supplying fuel to HMAS Anzac, Defence has confirmed.
HMAS Supply, an auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship, transferred fuel to the frigate off of Australia’s east coast, marking the first RAS of the Supply Class.
The RAS procedure denotes the replenishment of fuel, cargo or water to ships at sea, and requires between 30 to 60 personnel and considerable training to execute.
Read Admiral Mark Hammond, Commander of the Australian Fleet, welcomed the momentous occasion for the HMAS Supply.
"HMAS Supply is the first of its class, and the crew have been working hard to progress it through the operational test and evaluation period," RADM Hammond said.
"By completing her first replenishment at sea with HMAS Anzac, Supply is one step closer to achieving initial operating capability later this year.
"Once this is declared by the Chief of Navy, Supply will be available for operational tasking, and ready to assume duties — sustaining a Joint Force for enduring periods at sea.”
Captain Ben Hissink,, Commanding Officer of the HMAS Supply, outlined that the RAS was executed perfectly, and demonstrated the importance of investing in AOR ships.
"Supply can carry more fuel and stores, has a faster pumping rate for aviation fuel and can operate in a wider range of sea states than her predecessors Success and Sirius," CAPT Hissink said.
"Importantly, we also have a combat management system that will allow us to integrate better with other Australian Defence Force and allied assets, so we can work more effectively in a Task Group."
The HMAS Supply was purchased alongside the NUSHIP Stalwart, which is expected to be commissioned later in the year to support the Royal Australian Navy’s operational readiness.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton welcomed the HMAS Supply into the RAN earlier in the year, noting that it will support Australia’s maritime operations.
“With regional security challenges on the rise, it is more important than ever to have robust operational support capabilities for Australia’s maritime assets,” Minister Dutton said.
“Supply will help sustain our lethal naval capability and will play a critical role in enabling our Joint Force to maintain the security, sovereignty and prosperity of Australia and our regional partners.”
Earlier in the year, Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price noted that the new AORs drew upon the expertise of the Australian defence industry.
“Australian industry played a key role in the build of the Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment ships, including the use of 4,500 tonnes of Australian BlueScope steel, and the final fit out of the ship in Western Australia,” Minister Price said.
“As Supply embarks on her long life serving the nation, Australian industry will carry out a central role in the sustainment of the capability, creating long-term opportunities for Australian businesses and jobs for Australian workers.
“The AORs are an example of making the best use of our Defence platforms, with the introduction of a combat management system not present in predecessors, HMA Ships Success and Sirius.”
[Related: HMAS Supply enters service]