The first of the RAN's next auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ships, the future HMAS Supply, has been launched at Navantia's shipyards in Ferrol, Spain.
Supply and sister ship, the future HMAS Stalwart, will replace the two AORs currently in service with the RAN, HMA Ships Sirius and Success.
The ceremony was held at the Ferrol facilities at 4:15 pm to coincide with the high tide. Following the launch, Chief of Navy VADM Michael Noonan positioned a coin under where the hull will be constructed for Stalwart in accordance with ship-building tradition.
The two Australian ships are based on the Spanish Armada's Cantabria class AORs. The agreement with Navantia also includes the sustainment of the ships for five years, to be conducted in NSW and WA by Navantia Australia.
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.
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.