The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has commissioned its new Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship, HMAS Supply.

It is the first of two Supply-class AOR ships being built by Spain’s Navantia as part of a contract awarded in May 2016.

The Supply-class ships will replace existing vessels retired, HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius.

HMAS Supply will be based at Fleet Base East, Sydney, while its sister ship Stalwart at Fleet Base West at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.

Australia Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the auxiliary oiler replenishment ships are key element to modern day maritime operations in the country.

Minister Dutton said: “With regional security challenges on the rise, it is more important than ever to have robust operational support capabilities for Australia’s maritime assets.

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“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.”

The AORs will be used for carrying fuel, water, food, parts and dry cargo. They will primarily provide logistics replenishment to naval combat units at sea and bridge the current capability gap.

Furthermore, the ships will support Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HDR) operations domestically and regionally.

Supply and Stalwart feature Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) built by NSAG, Navantia’s joint venture with Adelaide-based SAGE Automation.

Saab and Raytheon are supplying the combat management systems and communications systems, respectively.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “Australian Industry played a key role in the build of the Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships, including the use of 4,500t of Australian BlueScope steel, and the final fit out of the ship in Western Australia.

“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.”

The two AORs are expected to remain in service for at least 25 years.