In 2016 Navantia was awarded the contract to build two auxiliary oiler replenishment ships (AORs). These ships will replace existing vessels HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius and will be known as the Supply Class.
The AORs will provide operational support to the Navy’s fleet by providing fuel, ammunition and stores.
Australian industry is playing a key role in the build of the AORs with a minimum $120 million of investment into Australian products, skills and expertise. As part of this, 4,500 tonnes of steel has been sourced from BlueScope. The AORs Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) will be built in Australia by NSAG, Navantia’s joint venture with Adelaide based SAGE Automation. Hobart’s Taylor Bros is supplying a range of services including hospital, laundry and gallery fitouts. Saab Australia will supply the combat management systems and Raytheon Australia, the communications systems.
In June 2017, Navantia cut steel on the two vessels. The keel of the first of two Australian AOR was laid in the Ferrol shipyard in November 2017 in a ceremony attended by Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, chair of Navantia S.A. José Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez and chair of Navantia Australia Warren King.
The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, announced on 17 November 2017 the names of the Royal Australian Navy’s future support ships – Supply and Stalwart.
The contract to build these vessels was awarded in 2016 with both ships due to be delivered in 2020. The design of these vessels is based on the Navantia built and designed, Spanish oiler ‘Cantabria’ that is currently operated by the Spanish Navy. The Australian AORs are designed with the intent to replenish fuels, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to the operational deployments of the Australian naval and combat forces operating far from port, on the high seas for longer periods. HMAS Supply and HMAS Stalwart are due to commence service with the Royal Australian Navy from mid-2020 and are expected to remain in service for a minimum of 25 years.
Navantia Australia will be responsible for the sustainment of both ships for their first five years of operation commencing mid 2020, along with the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) and form the AOR System Program Office (AORSPO). Navantia Australian is best positioned to provide through life support to these vessels via the continual development of Navantia’s Australian and global Supply Chains.
Additionally, as the design authority for the Supply class, we are providing configuration and baseline management as an integral component of the through life support for these vessels.
To assist with the sustainment, in particular the maintenance of the vessels, Navantia Australia is currently processing applications for an industry partner to work with us in managing the conduct of the external maintenance tasks and associated activities. Selected Australian Industry Capability will further assist Navantia Australia by providing sustainment and supply services for unique and specialised systems currently fitted to the Australian AORs.