The Australian government has purchased the Norwegian undersea support vessel MV Normand Jarl in a deal worth $110 million.
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The 107-metre-long vessel was bought for the Australian Defence Force through a selection process led by an independent broker and is currently undergoing inspection and certification in Singapore.
Once cleared, it will sail to Australia under an Australian flag and be renamed Australian Defence Vessel “Guidance” for use in supporting undersea surveillance systems trials, deployment of undersea crewed and uncrewed vehicles, robotic and autonomous systems.
Deputy Secretary, Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment, Tony Dalton said the new acquisition would be used to further advance a range of trials and activities leveraging new technologies in the undersea domain.
“Defence is demonstrating its commitment to providing a cutting-edge capability, which will expand the ADF’s ability to deliver multiple undersea project outcomes,” Dalton said.
“ADV Guidance will be instrumental in developing and testing robotic and autonomous underwater systems, ensuring Defence can compete and succeed in a wide variety of complex undersea environments.”
Norwegian offshore service and supply ship shipping company Solstad announced the vessel had been sold to an unknown buyer on 12 December last year and delivery was expected to take place in the first quarter of this year.
The company further detailed that CSV Normand Jarl had been delivered to that customer, during an announcement on 15 February.
The ship arrived in Singapore on 12 February and it was changed to sail under an Australian flag, according to marine traffic website VesselFinder.
The Australian government previously purchased the Norwegian-built offshore supply vessel Horizon Star from Horizon Maritime for US$67 million in February last year. It was later renamed Australian Defence Vessel Reliant and delivered to Australia after checks and maintenance.