The Royal Australian Navy’s second Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship, NUSHIP Stalwart, departed for Australia from Pier 12 in Navantia’s Ferrol shipyard on Thursday, 20 May 2021. The ‘Stalwart’ is the second of two supply vessels (AOR) built by Navantia Ferrol for the Royal Australian Navy. The ship will now navigate for 30 days towards her homeport, HMAS Sterling, in Western Australia. ‘Stalwart’ will then undergo a final fit-out where the installation and testing of the combat and communications systems, as well as some logistics areas, will be completed by Australian industry.
The Australian ambassador to Spain, Her Excellency Ms Sophia McIntyre, participated in the farewell to NUSHIP ‘Stalwart’, together with the president of Navantia, Mr Ricardo Domínguez and the director of the Ferrol shipyard, Mr Eduardo Dobarro. The president of Navantia especially recognized the efforts of the workers and highlighted the importance of the next program for the Spanish Navy in which the shipyard is already embarked, the frigate F-110, which will be a lever for growth and employment.
After the speeches, the rope launching maneuver was carried out and the anthems of Australia and Spain were interpreted with the last one. The contract for two AOR vessels was the fourth signed between Navantia and the Commonwealth of Australia, after the construction of two LHDs and its 12 landing crafts and the design and transfer of technology for three AWD destroyers. When the second AOR is operational, the Royal Australian Navy will have in service 19 naval units designed by Navantia. In addition to supporting the life cycle of AOR vessels, Navantia Australia is involved the support of all other units.
This contract for the two AOR vessels also includes their sustainment, for which Navantia Australia is developing an advanced asset management model to support the life cycle during the first five years. Likewise, it will also require an important participation of the Australian industry that will be responsible for the installation and testing of elements of the combat and communications systems, as well as some logistic areas. After completing these works, the ship will be delivered to the Commonwealth of Australia on August 31.