The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has announced the launch of a new Supply-class replenishment vessel, known as NUSHIP Stalwart, during a ceremony in Ferrol, Spain.
NUSHIP Stalwart is the second of the two logistics vessels being built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia for the RAN under a contract.
Navantia will also provide lifecycle support for the two logistics vessels for five years.
The Supply-class auxiliary oiler and replenishment (AOR) vessels, NUSHIP Stalwart and NUSHIP Supply, will provide afloat logistics support to the navy’s ships.
RAN chief Vice Admiral Michael Noonan said that the AOR ships will enable the navy to maintain ships at sea for longer periods.
Noonan said: “NUSHIPs Stalwart and Supply will extend our warships’ endurance and operational range by providing bulk fuels, potable water, stores and explosive ordnance to naval vessels operating at sea.”
The two logistics ships are intended to replace the navy’s existing supply vessels HMAS Sirius and ex-HMAS Success.
Navantia noted that the contract to construct the two support vessels is generating about 1,800 direct and indirect jobs per year.
The RAN will use the AOR vessels to supply water, food, fuel, dry cargo, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to naval vessels deployed at sea.
The replenishment tankers can also be deployed in support of humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
With a displacement of 19,500t, the ships can achieve a maximum speed of 20k.
HMAS Supply, the lead ship of the class, was launched in November last year. It is anticipated to join the RAN fleet next year.