The Australian Government is continuing to deliver enhanced maritime capability to the Australian Defense Force (ADF) with the procurement of a dedicated Undersea Support Vessel.

Deputy Secretary Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Tony Dalton said the new acquisition would be used to further advance a range of trials and activities leveraging new technologies in the undersea domain.

“Defense is demonstrating its commitment to providing a cutting-edge capability, which will expand the ADF’s ability to deliver multiple undersea project outcomes,” Dalton said.

After a selection process led by an independent broker, the Norwegian flagged MV Normand Jarl has been procured for $110 million and is currently undergoing inspection and certification activities in Singapore before sailing to Australia under an Australian flag later this year. The ship will be renamed Australian Defense Vessel (ADV) Guidance.

The primary role of ADV Guidance will be to support undersea surveillance systems trials, including the ability to deploy undersea crewed and uncrewed vehicles, and robotic and autonomous systems.

At 107 meters long, 22 meters wide and displacing 7400 tonnes, ADV Guidance will be able to sustain a range of Defence activities due to its modular mission systems, allowing specialist Defense teams and load-outs to be embarked to meet various system trial requirements.

“ADV Guidance will be instrumental in developing and testing robotic and autonomous underwater systems, ensuring Defence can compete and succeed in a wide variety of complex undersea environments,” Dalton said.

Photo from Solstad Offshore