RIVER (III) CLASS TANKER
As the Royal Westralian Navy's existing River (II) Class replenishment tankers began to age in the mid-2000's, the RWN instigated plans for a replacement. However this was subsequently deferred until the mid-2010's, at which point the NWS shipyard was already occupied with the upgrades to the Broome-class frigates. As a result, the new design of tankers was to be built by a private company experienced in the construction of tankers for the oil and gas industry, Campbell Maritime Services in Esperance. Construction began in late 2016, with the first vessel, Swan River
, due for commissioning in early-2019; and the second, Margaret River
, to follow shortly after.
Technical input for the design had been provided by Rolls-Royce, leading to the implementation of a LEADGE bow very similar to that incorporated in RR's Enviroship design. The double-hull is ice-strengthened to allow the vessels some limited sub-antarctic capability, necessary to aid in patrolling the Southern Ocean, though the ships will more regularly operate in warmer climates.
Displacement: 25,000 tons
Armament: 35mm Millennium Gun, 2 x .50 RWS
Systems: Kelvin-Hughes SharpEye (X and S Band), Safran Vampir NG, Rafael TopLite
Aviation and Boats: Hangar for 1 x NH90 (helipad can handle larger), 2 x RHIBs