• The crew of HMAS Stalwart line the ship's upper decks during its commissioning ceremony. (Defence)
    The crew of HMAS Stalwart line the ship's upper decks during its commissioning ceremony. (Defence)

The newest vessel in the Royal Australian Navy Fleet was commissioned over the weekend at Fleet Base West, WA. 

HMAS Stalwart is the second of two Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships purchased for the Navy, and will enable extended deployment of ADF personnel. 

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. 

“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,” Minister for Defence Peter 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 capability needed to help defend Australia.

“The additional vessels into our fleet represent an almost $1.4 billion investment in naval capability,” Minister Price said. “Australian industry played a key role in the development of these vessels, with 4501 tonnes of Australian steel plate, manufactured by BlueScope, 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 in NSW.

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