The Australian Navy’s Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore has completed sea trials, Dutch shipbuilder Damen announced.
MV Sycamore was built at Damen’s Vietnam shipyard and will now be prepared for her maiden voyage to her home port of Sydney, Australia, where she is expected to arrive at the end of May.
In addition to the more traditional elements of sea trials such as maneuvering and speed tests, the MV Sycamore underwent an extensive testing program 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.
According to Damen, the results of the sea trials were successful and all systems and processes of the vessel were accepted by representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The MV Sycamore will be a civilian-registered aviation-capable, ocean-going vessel used for military training and a range of other tasks with the Royal Australian Navy.
Sycamore’s chief role 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.
MV Sycamore will additionally 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 shipbuilder said.
Talking about the future of Damen’s activities in Australia, Damen Sales Director Asia Pacific Roland Briene commented: “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.”