NUSHIP Supply, the lead ship for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships sailed away from Navantia’s Ferrol shipyard in Spain for Australia. The occasion was marked by a small ceremony held in Ferrol attended by senior Navantia personnel, the Royal Australian Navy’s Defence Attaché in Madrid, CAPT Tim Byles and the Department of Defence’ inspection team from Teekay. COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented a larger event from taking place. Flags from both nations were presented during the ceremony. NUSHIP Supply will arrive in Western Australia early October and will be based at HMAS Stirling where the installation and testing of the combat and communications systems, as well as some logistics areas will be completed by Australian industry.
Navantia’s Global President Susana de Sarría said, “This is a proud moment for the people of Navantia and Australia who have worked directly or indirectly in making Supply a reality over many years and continues our close relationship between our two countries. The achievement of this milestone is a great credit to the people of Navantia S.A. and everyone involved with the SEA1654-3 program, particulary with the challenges presented by COVID-19. We acknowledge the efforts and contributions made by all our subcontractors, including Navantia Australia personnel, Teekay, Raytheon, SAAB, the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Defence located not only in Ferrol, but also in Canberra and Sydney.”
NUSHIP Supply (A 195), named after the Royal Navy ship HMS Supply, is the first ship of two Supply-class replenishment oilers used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The class is based on the Spanish Cantabria and is intended to be able to supply three ships at once with fuel, water, food, ammunition and other supplies. The contract to build the two auxiliary oiler replenishment ships was awarded to Navantia in 2016. The ship has the status of “NUSHIP” until it is commissioned into the navy, at which time it will become “HMAS” – Her Majesty’s Australian Ship. It is under construction at Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol, Spain. It was launched in late November 2018.
The Supply class is a planned class of replenishment oilers of the Royal Australian Navy, a role that combines the missions of a tanker and stores supply ship. As such they are designated auxiliary oiler replenisher (AOR). They will be tasked with providing ammunition, fuel, food and other supplies to Royal Australian Navy vessels around the world. There will be two ships in the class, Supply and Stalwart. The project is expected to cost anywhere between $1 and $2 billion. Navantia were selected to build a design based on the Spanish Navy’s current replenishment vessel Cantabria, which entered service in 2011.