The first of the RAN’s two Cantabria/Supply class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessels, NUSHIP Supply II, has arrived at Garden Island in Western Australia after its delivery voyage from Navantia’s shipyards in Ferrol, Spain where it was built.
The arrival of Supply follows the successful completion of its builder’s sea trials in August.
Supply will be equipped with additional equipment while in Fremantle, including its Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS), a communications suite, its Typhoon remote weapons stations, and its combat system. It will replace the decommissioned HMAS Success in service on the east coast when it is commissioned in 2021, while the follow-on NUSHIP Stalwart III will replace the Navy’s west coast AOR, HMAS Sirius in 2022.
“The local development and management of the Navantia designs by Navantia Australia, supported by the Strategic Agreement Principles document signed with Defence earlier this year, offers substantial opportunities for Australian industry,” Navantia Australia Managing Director, Alfonso García-Valdés said in a statement.
“Navantia Australia already has over 300 Australian companies as part of our local supply chain,” he added. “The cross platform commons program we are developing will provide more long-term opportunities for platform sustainment, innovation, and upgrades, and enable a robust Australian supply chain to be reliably available.”
The 19,500 tonne Supply and Stalwart III are based on Spain’s Cantabria class. The SPS Cantabria spent eight months on secondment to the RAN in 2013 while the RAN was temporarily without an east coast AOR capability due to delays with the refit of the former HMAS Success.
Based on the RAN’s favourable experience in operating with the SPS Cantabria, the design was selected in 2016 through Project SEA 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability – Replenishment Ships requirement to replaceSuccess and Sirius in service.
Australian companies involved in the construction and fit-out of the new AORs include Taylor Bros, SAGE Automation, Australian Maritime Technologies, Sofraco Engineering, Capability by Design, Communications Design & Management, Sypaq Systems, ASP Ship Management, Scaf-West, and the Onsite Rental Group.
This article was published by the Australia Defence Business Review on October 6, 2020.
The author is Andrew McLaughlin
Featured photo: NUSHIP Supply arrives at Garden Island in Western Australia. (NAVANTIA)