The acceptance of NUSHIP Stalwart, the second of the two Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships built by Navantia Ría de Ferrol on August 30 follows two months’ of fit-out activities carried out at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. Before its formal acceptance, NUSHIP Stalwart completed its final sea trials. Verifications and demonstrations of the Combat, Communications and Navigation Systems conducted on August 22 reached a high degree of customer satisfaction in all areas. The acceptance of delivery for NUSHIP Stalwart is not only a major milestone for the company, but also Australian industry capability, with the commencement of the support contract in Western Australia.
The AOR Program has generated hundreds of jobs for Australian workers who operate behind the scenes in the Australian Defence Industry. Sixty direct jobs with Navantia Australia, and further indirect jobs with industry partners associated with the AOR Sustainment support program, have been created. A number of Australian and Western Australian companies were involved in the both construction process and fit-out, including Taylor Bros, SAGE Automation, Australian Maritime Technologies, Sofraco Engineering, Capability by Design, Communications Design & Management and Sypaq Systems. ASP Ship Management, Scaf-West and the Onsite Rental Group are performing vital support during the fit-out.
NUSHIP Stalwart (III) is the second and final Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ship currently being built for the Royal Australian Navy by Spanish shipbuilder, Navantia. The Australian Supply Class ships are based on the Spanish Navy’s Cantabria Class design. 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. 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.
NUSHIP Stalwart was laid down on 25 November 2018 at the Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol, Spain. NUSHIP Stalwart is the third Royal Australian Navy ship to bear the name after the S Class destroyer, HMAS Stalwart (I) and the single class destroyer tender, HMAS Stalwart (II). HMAS Stalwart was launched on 30 August 2019, and is planned to enter service with the Royal Australian Navy fleet in late 2021. Support for the life-cycle of the vessel for the first five years’ of service and throughout the ship’s warranty period will be managed by Navantia Australia, along with sister ship, HMAS Supply.