May 7, 2016
Australia is spending $640 million on naval supply ships made in Spain
Unlike recent announcements by the prime minister about building submarines and other ships in Australia, today’s decision to give the contract to Madrid-based Navantia was low key.
Defence minister Marise Payne confirmed Navantia as the preferred tenderer, beating South Korea’s Daewoo, for the two auxiliary oiler and replenishment (AOR) vessels in March.
Australia’s current supply ship, HMAS Success, launched in 1984, will reach its end of life in 2021, and needs to be replaced urgently.
The navy’s other supply ship, HMAS Sirius, is a former commercial oil tanker commissioned in 2006 and does not have the capability for other supplies. Navantia, which build the Royal Australian Navy’s two newest vessels, the landing helicopter dock ships, Canberra and Adelaide, will build two 19,500-tonne dual tanker and supply ships.
The contract stipulates that $130 million of the build will involve local industry for combat and communication systems, and elements of the onboard cranes. And an initial $250 million, five-year sustainment contract, also signed with Navantia, will be undertaken in Australia.