Damen Shipyards Group has announced the successful completion of sea trials of the future Royal Australian Navy Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore.
The sea trials included testing of all on-board military systems. In addition to the more traditional elements of sea trials such as manoeuvring and speed tests, Sycamore was put through her paces with an extensive testing program of all on-board military systems. This included testing of the air traffic radar, flightdeck lighting and firefighting systems, flightdeck communication systems and helicopter traverse installation procedures.
Damen Sales Director Asia Pacific Roland Briene welcomed the news and said the vessel, which is based on Damen's OPV series, is a “very versatile ship”.
The chief role of the vessel will be to provide a training platform for all possible helicopter-related operations, such as helicopter deck landings and take off, helicopter (in-flight) refuelling operations and air traffic control.
According to Damen, the design will also enable the RAN to accomplish numerous other secondary tasks such as practice torpedo and mine recovery operations, navigation training, dive support, Officer Sea Familiarisation, target towing and consort duties as well as unmanned aerial vehicle support.
The 94-metre long vessel also has a large storage capacity, which gives her the potential to be mobilised in humanitarian relief operations.
The coming weeks will see the MV Sycamore being prepared for her maiden voyage to her home port of Sydney, Australia, where she is expected to arrive at the end of May.
Talking about the future of Damen’s activities in Australia, Briene said the company was furthering its shipbuilding ambitions, having recently submitted its tender for the Sea 1180 OPV program. “It is our intention to work in close concert with local industry for the project, building not only the required vessels, but a sustainable shipbuilding industry for Australia with strong export potential.”
A video depicting Sycamore during her recent trials can be viewed here.