• RAN Auxiliary ship NUSHIP Stalwart launches in Ferrol, Spain. Credit: Defence
    RAN Auxiliary ship NUSHIP Stalwart launches in Ferrol, Spain. Credit: Defence

The RAN is another step closer to welcoming its new fleet of support tankers into service following the successful launch of NUSHIP Stalwart at a ceremony in Ferrol, Spain.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the launch of the second Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) vessel marked an important milestone in Australia’s $90 billion investment in the largest regeneration of Navy since WW2.

“The delivery into service of the Supply class replenishment vessels from next year will provide Navy with vital afloat logistics support to enable our ships to remain at sea longer,” Minister Reynolds said.

“These ships will ensure Navy can make sustained and long-term contributions to regional and international security in support of our national interest, and further our strong relationships with countries across Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

“These ships will be a force multiplier for our Navy’s capability in support of sustained operations across the Indo-Pacific region.”

Chief of the RAN Michael Noonan said NUSHIP Stalwart’s launch would support Navy’s readiness to conduct sustained operations at sea and position Navy as an agile, resilient and lethal fighting force.

“The Supply class AOR vessels will enable Navy to maintain a long-term presence at sea and provide combat support to our frigates, destroyers and combatants wherever they operate in the world,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“NUSHIPS Stalwart and Supply will extend our warships’ endurance and operational range by providing bulk fuels, potable water, stores and explosive ordnance to naval vessels operating at sea.”

NUSHIPs Stalwart and Supply will replace the current replenishment tankers HMAS Sirius and ex-HMAS Success, which was decommissioned on 29 June.

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