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‘Sycamore’ aviation training vessel completes sea trials

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 24, 2017
Multirole Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore. (Damen)

Damen Shipyards Group has announced the completion of sea trials of the Multirole Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore, which is being acquired to support a range of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) training activities, including initial helicopter deck landing qualifications.

The trials included testing of all onboard military systems, Damen said in a statement.

In addition to traditional elements of sea trials such as manoeuvring and speed tests, the MATV was put through its paces with an extensive testing program of its systems, which included testing of the air traffic radar, flightdeck lighting and firefighting, flightdeck communications systems and helicopter traverse installation procedures.

Damen stated that all systems and processes of the vessel were accepted by representatives of the Commonwealth.

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

In the coming weeks, Sycamore will be prepared for its maiden voyage to its home port of Sydney, where the vessel is expected to arrive at the end of May.

The MATV will be available to support Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) first-of-class flight trials, Defence has confirmed.

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Comments (3)

  • B. Harrison


    Damen is one of the frontrunners for the new (and considerably larger) Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) that Australia is wanting to construct. 12 vessels of 2-3000 tonne is almost 9 times larger than the current Armidale Class of patrol vessel, but due to their size, will make them far more versatile. I wonder if the Sycamore is something like we will see in the not too distant future.

  • John N


    B. Harrison,

    Yes Damen is one of the three shortlisted contenders for the SEA 1180 project for 12 OPV’s, but they will not be anywhere the size of MV Sycamore.

    Sycamore is approx. 94m in length and a bit over 3000t, (basically an ‘enlarged’ version of the Damen OPV 2400 design, approx. 90m, but built to ‘commercial’ standards in Vietnam).

    And she won’t be a ‘commissioned’ RAN ship either, she will be operated by DMS, who also operate most of the other support vessels for the RAN.

    And no, it doesn’t appear the 12 OPV’s will be in the 2-3000t range, most likely under 2000t, probably closer to the size of the Damen OPV 1800, approx. 83m and approx. 1900t.

    The details of the RFT for SEA 1180 are not in the public domain, but most speculation is they will be in the approx. 80m and 1800t-2000t range, and also they will also not be operated and ‘armed’ to a level of an OCV for example, just a larger patrol boat, but certainly more capable and more flexible too.

    Anyway, MV Sycamore will certainly be a key piece of equipment supporting HATS and a broader range of duties for the RAN outside of HATS too.


    John N

  • Matt


    Hi John N,

    At the tale end of your previous statement you mentioned Sycamore will be operated by DMS. Are you saying that DMS / Serco has won the contract to provide the In Service Support? Tender submissions closed on 20 Feb and have since been unannounced by what I have been able to find on the net…. would you be able to clarify?



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