• The Spanish Armada's Cantabria during her exchange with the RAN in 2013. Credit Saberwyn
    The Spanish Armada's Cantabria during her exchange with the RAN in 2013. Credit Saberwyn

Navantia officially presented an offer on 7 August to build two new supply ships for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in what will be a head to head bid for the contract with South Korea's Daewoo. 
Its offer is based on the 19,800-tonne SPS Cantabria, a ship which it designed and built for the Armada and which spent most of 2013 deployed with the Royal Australian Navy. A decision on the winner is expected by the end of the year.
The Spanish state-owned shipbuilder is banking heavily on its previous work for the RAN to help the company win.
Navantia constructed the hulls for Australia's two Canberra-class LHDs - also based on a previous design and build of the 27,000-tonne Juan Carlos I for the Armada.
The Cantabrias are an enlarged 19,500 tonne version of the Patino Class replenishment ship. Fuel capacity of the type consists of up to 8,920 m3 ship fuel and 1,585 m3 of JP-5 naval aviation fuel. This is combined with a capacity for 470 tonnes of general cargo, 280 tonnes of secured ammunition, and 215 m3 of fresh water. These ships also carry a crew medical center with 10 beds, including operating facilities equipped for telemedicine by videoconference, an X-ray room, dental surgery, sterilization laboratory, and gas containment.
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) is proposing its Aegir class, a larger version of which is in production for the UK's Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) program. The Australian Aegirs have been shortlisted at about 26,000 tonnes.
The ships won't be built in Australia, as the Abbott government doesn't believe that the industrial infrastructure and experience is in place to build 20,000+ tonne ships locally. The 18,200 tonne HMAS Success was the largest ship built for the RAN in country but that was during the eighties at the long since decommissioned Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney. 
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