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Successful completion of sea trials of the Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore

The coming weeks will see the MV Sycamore being prepared for her maiden voyage to her home port of Sydney, Australia, where she is expected to arrive at the end of May.

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Damen Shipyards Group has announced the successful completion of sea trials of the Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore. The sea trials included testing of all on-board military systems. Following final vessel handover, MV Sycamore will perform diverse training and support duties for the Royal Australian Navy.

In addition to the more traditional elements of sea trials such as manoeuvring and speed tests, the MV Sycamore was put through her paces with an extensive testing programme of all on-board military systems. This included testing of the air traffic radar, flight deck lighting and firefighting, flight deck communication systems and helicopter traverse installation procedures.

The results of the sea trials were successful. All systems and processes of the vessel were accepted by representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Helicopter training tool

“We are proud to hear that the MV Sycamore has passed her first tests with flying colours,” says Damen Sales Director Asia Pacific Roland Briene. “Based on Damen’s successful and proven OPV series, the MATV is a very versatile ship.”

The chief role of the vessel will be to provide a training platform for all possible helicopter-related operations, such as helicopter deck landings and take off, helicopter (in-flight) refuelling operations and air traffic control.

Additional humanitarian role

However, Damen’s versatile MATV design will enable the Royal Australian Navy to accomplish numerous other secondary tasks also. To this end, the MV Sycamore will be able to undertake torpedo and mine recovery operations, navigation training, dive support, Officer Sea Familiarisation, target towing and consort duties as well as unmanned aerial vehicle support.

Furthermore, the 94-metre long vessel has a large storage capacity, which gives her the potential to be mobilised in humanitarian relief operations.

The coming weeks will see the MV Sycamore being prepared for her maiden voyage to her home port of Sydney, Australia, where she is expected to arrive at the end of May.

Talking about the future of Damen’s activities in Australia, Mr Briene comments: “We are making headway towards our ambitions of building further vessels for the Australian Navy, having recently submitted out tender for the SEA 1180 Program. It is our intention to work in close concert with local industry for the project, building not only the required vessels, but a sustainable shipbuilding industry for Australia with strong export potential.”

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Navy

Future Frigate capability described by Chief of Navy

SEA 5000 Phase 1 Announcement

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Photo: Department of Defence

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, describes the capability of the Future Frigate to members of Air Warfare Destroyer, NUSHIP Brisbane’s, ship’s company at Osborne in South Australia.

On 29 June 2018, BAE Systems Australia were announced as the successful bid to design the Global Combat Ship – Australia Hunter Class frigates, to be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, South Australia.

SEA 5000 Phase 1 Future Frigate Program will deliver anti-submarine warfare frigates,the Hunter class.

The Hunter class enter service in the late 2020s replacing the eight Anzac frigates, which have been in service since 1996.

The Hunter class will have the capability to conduct a variety of missions independently, or as part of a task group, with sufficient range and endurance to operate effectively throughout the region.

The frigates will also have the flexibility to support non-warfare roles such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Incorporating the leading-edge Australian-developed CEA Phased-Array Radar and the US Navy’s Aegis combat management system, with an Australian interface developed by Saab Australia, the Hunter class will be one of the most capable warships in the world.

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Military Operations

HMAS Warramunga deploys for nine month Middle East mission

HMAS Warramunga and her ship’s 190 company has departed Fleet Base East at Garden Island, Sydney for maritime security operations in the Middle East.

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The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett joined family and friends to farewell HMAS Warramunga and loved ones for their nine-month deployment to Operation Manitou.

During the deployment, Warramunga may undertake counter-terrorism and counter-piracy missions and conduct regional engagement to enhance maritime security cooperation.

The deployment is part of the Australian Defence Force contribution to the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, promoting security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East, and today Warramunga’s departure will mark the 66th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the region since 1990.

Minister Payne said Warramunga would work as part of an international coalition, the Combined Maritime Forces, to interrupt the illegal drug trade that funds terrorism.

“Australia has a long-standing commitment to the Combined Maritime Forces in the Middle East region, and Warramunga is but the latest Royal Australian Navy vessel committed to this fight against terrorist operations,” Minister Payne said.

“For decades, the men and women of the Royal Australian Navy have regularly seized drugs and other illegal cargoes from the high seas.

“Warramunga will further advance Australia’s high standing with our Allies, together making a significant global difference and protect Australia’s national interests abroad.”

Warramunga’s Commanding Officer, Commander Dugald Clelland, said the ship’s company were highly trained and motivated to carry out the tasks ahead.

“The men and women who serve in Warramunga have worked very hard preparing the ship for this long deployment,” Commander Clelland said.

“This will be the ship’s third deployment to the Middle East and we carry forward a considerable legacy.

“For 27 years, Australian warships have made significant contributions to peace and security in the region and we’re deeply committed to continuing this legacy and honouring the service of those who have come before us.

“We sail with the knowledge our friends and families will support us the entire way as we work to make the world safer and more stable.”

Warramunga replaces HMAS Newcastle as Australia’s ship in the Middle East region. Newcastle is due to return to Australia in the coming weeks.

HMAS-Warramunga

© 2017 Commonwealth of Australia | Photo: ABAWASM Kieran Dempsey | Friends and family gather at Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney, to farewell HMAS Warramunga as she departs for Operation Manitou.

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Defence Industry

Chief of Navy closes Sea Power Conference

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2017 SeaPower conference

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Last week the Royal Australian Navy hosted the biennial Sea Power Conference, with senior naval delegations from around the world descending on Sydney for three days of discussions and Navy-to-Navy engagements.

Run alongside the Pacific 2017 international maritime exposition, Sea Power Conference is Navy’s premier gathering of naval chiefs and this year will explore the broad theme of ‘The Navy and the Nation’, focusing on maritime identity, the significance of maritime economics and use of oceans.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2017 SeaPower conference while onboard the recently commissioned Air Warfare Destroyer HMAS Hobart.

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