Australia’s Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare have confirmed that the government has agreed to purchase the OSV Skandi Bergen 111.
The purchase, facilitated by SEAFORCE Pty Ltd, will add to the Royal Australian Navy’s current amphibious ships, HMAS Choules and HMAS Tobruk. The 6,500 tonne ship is 106m long with a breadth of 22m. It has accommodation for up to 100 people, more than 1,000m of deck area, and a helipad.
The purchase of OSV Skandi Bergen 111 – at a cost of less than A$130 million – will ensure that Defence has the humanitarian and disaster relief capability required between now and the arrival of the two new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships in the middle of the decade.
It will primarily be used in support of humanitarian and disaster relief operations domestically and in the region.
The purchase of this vessel will also provide a long term capability for Customs and Border Protection. After Defence introduces the LHDs into service, the vessel will be transferred to Customs and Border Protection.
OSV Skandi Bergen 111 will be able to undertake patrols in the Southern Ocean providing surveillance, detection and apprehension of any vessels operating illegally. The vessel is able to operate in sub-Antarctic weather conditions.
OSV Skandi Bergen 111 is the sister ship of Ocean Protector, currently operated by Customs and Border Protection.