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Australia to base second Supply-class oiler in Western Australia

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will base its second Supply-class replenishment vessel HMAS Stalwart (A304) with Fleet Base West's HMAS Stirling in Garden Island, Western Australia, the service announced on 27 October.

The vessel, which was handed over by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia to the Australian Department of Defence in September 2021, will be commissioned in November 2021, the RAN added.

Stalwart is part of an AUD642 million (USD481 million) contract signed with Navantia in May 2016 under the Australian government's SEA 1654 Phase 3 programme.

The project seeks to replace two older oilers, the former HMAS Success, which was retired in June 2019, and HMAS Sirius, which will be decommissioned in December 2021, with a single class of replenishment vessels.

Stalwart's sister ship HMAS Supply (A195) was commissioned in April 2021. It is home ported with Fleet Base East in Sydney, New South Wales.

The Supply class has an overall length of 174 m, an overall beam of 23 m, and displaces approximately 19,500 tonnes. It has a top speed of 20 kt and a range of 11,000 km at 13 kt.

In terms of replenishment payload, each vessel can carry 1,450 m³ of JP5 jet fuel, 8,200 m³ of marine diesel fuel, 1,400 m³ of fresh water, 270 tonnes of ammunition, and 470 tonnes of victuals. The vessel can also accommodate a helicopter on its flight deck for virtual replenishment operations.

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