The Supply-class ships are designed to replace two of the fleet’s existing vessels, HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius.
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has inducted its newest Supply-class auxiliary oilier replenishment (AOR) vessel, the HMAS Stalwart, into its fleet.
The event took place on 13 November at Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia.
Australian Chief of Navy vice-admiral Michael Noonan said: “These ships represent a generational shift from the capability provided by previous support ships in that they are equipped with a combat management system that improves information sharing with other Australian Defence Force (ADF) and allied assets.
“Both Stalwart and Supply represent cutting-edge maritime technology and can seamlessly integrate into both national and multinational task groups, which is paramount in the challenging strategic environment.”
HMAS Stalwart is the second of two Supply-class AOR ships purchased for the RAN. The RAN commissioned the first ship, HMAS Supply, in April.
The two ships are built by Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia under a contract awarded in May 2016.
Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said: “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.
“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.”
The Supply-class ships are expected to remain in service for at least 25 years and will replace the fleet’s HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius vessels.
They are intended to help sustain the ADF for extended periods by providing fuel, ammunition and stores, as well as a range of cargo.
The AORs will primarily provide logistics replenishment to naval combat units at sea and can also support the Joint Force on a wider scale.
The Australian industry has committed to investing at least A$120m ($88.3m) in domestic products, skills and expertise to build AORs.