Damen Shipyards Group announced on 20 April that it has completed sea trials of a multirole aviation training vessel (MATV) on order for Australia.
The civilian registered vessel, MV Sycamore, will be operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a platform to conduct helicopter-related aviation training operations, such as deck landings and take-offs, helicopter in-flight refuelling (HIFR), and air traffic control.
In addition, Sycamore has also been equipped to undertake a number of secondary tasks that include torpedo and mine recovery operations, navigation training, dive support, and target towing, said Damen in a statement on the sea trials completion. "Furthermore, the 94-m long vessel has a large storage capacity, which gives her the potential to be mobilised in humanitarian relief operations", the company added.
Besides sea trials, Sycamore has also completed tests of other on-board equipment such as the air traffic radar, and flight deck communication systems.
Jane's first reported in March 2014 that the RAN was acquiring a dedicated vessel that will be used to bolster its naval aviation training capabilities. This was done against the backdrop of the deliveries of new helicopter platforms, such as the MH-60R and MRH90.
Sycamore , which was built at Damen's facilities in Vietnam, is currently being prepared for its journey towards Sydney, Australia, where it is expected to arrive by the end of May 2017.
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