The first of Navy’s two new Supply Class AOR ships was launched by Navantia at a ceremony in Spain over the weekend, marking a major milestone in the redevelopment and recapitalisation of the Royal Australian Navy.
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Navantia has launched today the ship NUSHIP Supply, the first of the two Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships that the company is building for the RAN, according to the contract signed in May 2016.
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.
"When Supply, and her sister ship, Stalwart, whose keel is to be laid tomorrow, enter service from 2020, they will provide affloat logisticis support to Fleet units, and be an important part of the Australian Navy's future fleet," Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, said.
In addition, its capacity to transport containers and the large volume of its tanks, among other benefits, allows this ship to carry out missions of humanitarian and health assistance to civilians in circumstances of catastrophe and environmental disaster.
"Their role will be to provide combat support via underway replenishment and transfer to deliver bulk fuels, potable water, stores, victuals, cargo and explosive ordnance to naval surface combatants, amphibious ships, auxiliaries and minor war vessels operating away from shore infrastructure support," Vice Admiral Noon added.
Following the successful launch of Supply, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, positioned a coin under where the hull of the future HMAS Stalwart will be constructed, continuing maritime and shipbuilding tradition.
The contract with the Commonwealth of Australia also includes support for the life cycle of the two AOR vessels for a period of five years.
Australia's defence industry will provide extensive support as part of the maintenance and sustainment contracts for Supply and Stalwart. Maintenance and sustainment will be carried out entirely in Australia, between major fleet facilities in NSW and Western Australia through the subsidiary Navantia Australia and subcontractors with whom Navantia already has relationships since 2007, when the first contracts (for the Canberra and Hobart Class vessels) were signed in Australia.
Australian industry will continue to play a key role in the construction of the AORs, with a minimum $120 million of investment into Australian products, skills and expertise. As part of this, 4,500 tonnes of the steel has been sourced from NSW-based BlueScope Steel.
In addition to BlueScope’s steel, the AORs integrated platform management system – the system that controls and monitors all the platform systems – will be built in Australia by NSAG, Navantia’s joint venture with Adelaide-based SAGE Automation.
Hobart’s Taylor Bros will supply a range of services including hospital, laundry and galley fit-outs, while SAAB Australia will supply the combat management systems and Raytheon Australia will supply the communications systems.
Additionally, these contracts include a significant participation of the Australian industry that will be responsible for the development of combat systems and communications, as well as some logistics areas and deck cargo cranes.