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. Australian ambassador to Spain Sophia McIntyre farewelled NUSHIP Stalwart, together with Navantia’s president, Ricardo Domínguez and the director of the Ferrol shipyard, Eduardo Dobarro, as part of a small ceremony. After the speeches, the rope launching manoeuvre was carried out and the anthems of Australia and Spain were played.
Navantia’s Domínguez, reaffirmed the commitment of the company by stating, “While the departure of NUSHIP Stalwart today might represent the conclusion of the SEA1654-3 program, this does not mean the end of our relationship with Australia. Australia has relied on Navantia to provide a decisive capacity to achieve its strategic objectives in the maritime field. Navantia, through Navantia Australia, will continue to be Australia’s partner now and in the future.”
The director of the shipyard, Dobarro, acknowledged the efforts and contributions made by all subcontractors, including Navantia Australia personnel, Teekay, Raytheon, SAAB, the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Defence involved with the delivery of the program.
Stalwart will spend the next 30 days navigating world oceans before arriving at her homeport of HMAS Stirling, in Western Australia. After her arrival 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.
Stalwart is the second and final ship of the Royal Australian Navy’s new Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships, which will operate in a joint manner to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.