HMAS Success to Get ‘Mid-Life Extension’?


Department of Defence has confirmed that the navy’s ”ship of shame”, the HMAS Success, will need $200 million of Australian taxpayers’ money to stay at sea. This 26-year-old oil tanker, refueling and replenishment vessel will get a ”mid-life extension” because Defence has neither maintained her properly nor made provision for a replacement.

When will HMAS Success reach the end of its life? The Navy stated that she will be operational until 2017-2018, but 2016 is the last year mentioned by an anonymous Defence source. According to, her replacement was supposed to be commissioned in 2016. Now the Defence expects her replacement to enter into service not sooner than 2021-2022.

The cost to extend the life of HMAS Success until her replacement arrives is expected to be more than paying her off and buying a new one.

From the last time the ship was operational, in November 2010, $35.8 million was invested in its repairs.

Of that, $17.8 million was spent in Singapore to make it compliant with International Maritime Organisation Standards and $13.8 million went on maintenance from June to November last year. The rest, $4.1 million, is now being spent on work to return the ship to operational readiness by July or August.

Naval Today Staff , April 11, 2012;