The Australian Department of Defence has signed the acceptance certificate of NUSHIP Stalwart, the second of the two Australian Auxiliary Oiler Replenishers built by Navantia for the Royal Australian Navy.

The ship, launched on August 30, 2019, has been accepted by Defence two years later. NUSHIP Stalwart departed Navantia Ferrol on May 20 this year and headed to Perth, Western Australia, where it arrived on June 21, according to the planned schedule. During the following weeks, and thanks to the effort, commitment and hard work of the displaced personnel and those who gave remote support from Spain, the equipment and testing activities of the ship were completed, despite the conditions associated with COVID.

During these past two months, a team of 26 people belonging to the Program, Testing and Assembly sections of the Ferrol shipyard have been working in Perth to carry out the ‘fit-out’ works and previous maintenance of the ship to support these most recent sea trials.

Before its formal acceptance, NUSHIP Stalwart completed its last sea trials. On August 22, verifications and demonstrations of the combat, communications and navigation systems were conducted, reaching a high degree of customer satisfaction in all areas.

The construction of this ship by Navantia has generated 1.5 million hours of work, not including those derived from the manufacture and supply of main engines, diesel generators, reducers, and integrated platform control system, which has been a significant economic boost for the Ferrol region and the Navantia business units. To all this must be added the support for the life cycle of the vessel for a period of five years.

Coinciding with the formalisation of the acceptance of the ship on August 30, the Australian Department of Defence and Navantia have also signed an extension of the contract, for the extension of the shipkeeping and maintenance services of the ship until September 30, 2021. This agreement gives continuity to the line of work developed by Navantia during the fit-out process and is aimed at providing support during the transition process prior to the transfer of the ship to the Royal Australian Navy. This extension will also include training and familiarisation services for the staff, representing great added value for the client.

On this date, the ship’s warranty period also begins, as well as the support contract, both tasks that will be managed by Navantia Australia, providing continuity during the life cycle support already started in sister ship HMAS Supply.