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Navantia Starts Construction of Australia’s Future Replenishment Oiler, HMAS Stalwart

Spanish shipbuilder, Navantia has started the construction of the second of the two future Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) vessels ordered by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), HMAS Stalwart, at its facilities in Fene in Spain on April 4, 2018.

The construction was ceremoniously begun with the cutting ceremony of the first steel for block 210. The sheet with which the cutting of AAOR 2 started is a plate of 12,000 x 3,000 x 15 mm and of quality EH36 and the piece to be cut is a piece of lining of 3,790.46 Kg of weight.

The two AOR vessels were ordered in May 9 last year as part of RAN’s Project SEA1654. They will be based on Spanish Navy replenishment oiler, Cantabria (A15).

The construction of the first ship, HMAS Supply was started on on June 19, 2017 and the keel laying ceremony was conducted at the shipyard in Ferrol on Nov. 17 the same year. Supply will be delivered in two years, with full operational capability scheduled for 2022. The second vessel, HMAS Stalwart will be delivered nine months after the first one.

The Australian Navy had earlier named of its future support ships as HMAS Supply and HMAS Stalwart as was announced by the country’s Minister for Defence, Marise Payne.

Supply will be the second vessel in the Royal Australian Navy to bear the name that has its origins with the armed tender ship that accompanied the First Fleet to Australia. Stalwart is being named after two previous Australian Navy vessels, one a destroyer that served between 1920 and 1925 and the second destroyer tender served from 1968 to 1990.

The ships will be known as Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) vessels and will replace the current RAN replenisment ships, HMAS Success (OR 304) and HMAS Sirius (O 266)

SPS Cantabria (A15)

Cantabria (A15) is a Spanish Navy replenishment oiler commissioned in 2010.

Cantabria has a displacement of 19,500 tons, is 170.4 metres (559 ft) in length, has a beam of 23 metres (75 ft), and a draught of 8 metres (26 ft).

Propulsion is provided by two diesel engines, supplying 10,890 kW (14,600 hp) to a single propeller shaft, which is fitted with a controllable-pitch propeller. Cantabria has a maximum sustained speed of 20 knots, and a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km).

The ship’s capacity includes 8,920 cubic metres (315,000 cu ft) of ship fuel, 1,585 cubic metres (56,000 cu ft) of JP-5 jet fuel, 215 cubic metres (7,600 cu ft) of fresh water, 280 tons of ammunition, and 470 tons of general cargo. The fuel storage areas are double-hulled. Cantabria can replenish three ships simultaneously; one on each side, plus a third via a stern refueling station.

She can carry three Agusta-Bell AB.212, two Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, or two NHI NH90 helicopters to perform vertical replenishment. The ship’s crew complement is 122.

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