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RAN's HMAS Supply AOR conducts its first replenishment at sea

The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) first Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) has conducted its first-ever replenishment at sea (RAS), according to a 13 August statement by the Department of Defence (DoD).

HMAS Supply, which was commissioned on 10 April, recently transferred fuel to RAN Anzac-class frigate HMAS Anzac off the east coast of Australia in a move that marked “a significant milestone for [the] navy's refuel and resupply-at-sea capability, which is critical to extending time at sea for Australian and allied ships”, according to the DoD.

By completing its first RAS with Anzac, Supply is “one step closer to achieving initial operating capability later this year”, said the Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, adding, “Once this is declared by the Chief of Navy, Supply will be available for operational tasking and ready to assume duties, sustaining a joint force for enduring periods at sea.”

The 173.9 m-long AOR, which has been undergoing an operational tests and evaluations to certify its readiness to join the fleet, is one of two of the class ordered as part of a AUD642 million (USD471 million) contract signed in May 2016 under Australia's Project Sea 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability programme.

Second-of-class HMAS Stalwart (with pennant number A304) was launched on 30 August 2019 and is expected to join the RAN on 31 August this year.

The new vessels, which are based on the Spanish Navy's Cantabria-class AORs, are to replace the AOR ship HMAS Success, which was decommissioned on 29 June 2019 after 33 years of service, and supply ship HMAS Sirius.

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