(Updates with comments from Navantia)

The newest vessel in the Royal Australian Navy Fleet was commissioned at Fleet Base West, Western Australia. HMAS Stalwart is the second of two Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships purchased for the Navy, and will enable extended deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. The Supply Class marks a generational shift from the capability provided by previous support ships. They will sustain the ADF with fuel, water, food, ammunition, and a variety of cargo for extended periods.

Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, said robust operational support was critical. “The new replenishment ships will strengthen operational support to Navy combat units at sea and increase the ADF’s ability to support operations in the region,” Dutton said. “The AORs are equipped with a combat management system that improves information-sharing with other ADF and Allied assets, allowing them to integrate more fully in a Task Group in support of missions.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the new Supply Class vessels gave Navy the world-class capability needed to help defend Australia and our national interests. “The additional vessels into our fleet represent an almost $1.4 billion investment in naval capability,” Price said. “Australian industry played a key role in the development of these vessels, with 4501 tonnes of Australian steel plate, manufactured by Blue Scope, incorporated in the construction of Stalwart. Australian industry will continue to play an important part in the ships’ longevity with through-life sustainment of both ships projected to be at least $875 million. I am also particularly proud that Stalwart’s ceremonial homeport will be in Geraldton, in my Durack electorate, where I know locals will embrace her.”

HMAS Stalwart will operate out of Fleet Base West in Western Australia, while her sister ship, HMAS Supply, is based at Fleet Base East, New South Wales.

Navantia Australia congratulated the Royal Australian Navy (Navy) on the commissioning of the second Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR), HMAS Stalwart. Navantia’s Global President, Ricardo Domínguez, said the commissioning of HMAS Stalwart III by the Royal Australian Navy is a proud moment for Navantia’s global workforce. “I commend the Royal Australian Navy on the commissioning of HMAS Stalwart. This achievement signifies a successful team effort, spanning global boundaries and throughout a challenging landscape and the impacts of COVID-19. The commissioning of HMAS Stalwart today, also marks a significant milestone in the relationship between Navantia, Navantia Australia, the Australian Government and the Royal Australian Navy. In just 15 years, Navantia has delivered four classes of naval ships, representing over 110,000 tonnes or 60% of maritime capability for Navy.”

Navantia Australia’s Managing Director, Israel Lozano, said that through the delivery of these complex programs, the company has developed impressive sovereign capabilities in design, engineering and integration. “Following on from the success of our parent company, Navantia Australia was established in 2012 as an Australian company to support the delivery and provide through life services to the Supply Class AORs, Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Docks and Landing Craft, and Hobart Class Guided Missile Destroyers. Over the past nine years we have grown our Australian workforce to over 170 people and expanded our footprint to operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth. Our AOR Support program office in Henderson, Western Australia was specifically opened in 2020 to support HMAS Stalwart and is providing jobs and building maritime sustainment capability in Western Australia,” said Lozano. 

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