Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has launched the second of two Royal Australian Navy auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ships at its shipyard in Ferrol, Spain.
Future support tanker HMAS Stalwart was launched on August 31.
The delivery into service of the Supply-class replenishment vessels from next year will provide the navy with vital afloat logistics support to enable other ships to remain at sea longer.
The first ship in the class, future HMAS Supply, was launched in November 2018.
“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,” Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, said.
NUSHIPs Stalwart and Supply will replace the current replenishment tankers HMAS Sirius and ex-HMAS Success, which was decommissioned in June this year.
The 173.9-meter AORs are built under a contract signed in May 2016 and are based on the Spanish Navy’s Cantabria-class AORs. They will be delivered at an estimated cost of AU$640 million.
Displacing 19,500 tons, the ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.
In addition to replenishment, the vessels can be used to combat against environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations following a natural disaster.