ADV Ocean Shield

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ACV Ocean Shield
ADV Ocean Shield during International Fleet Review 2013
Career (Australia)
Name: Ocean Shield
Ordered: 10 December 2010
Builder: STX OSV
Yard number: 771
Laid down: 11 April 2011
Completed: 22 May 2012
Acquired: 19 March 2012
In service: 30 June 2012
Homeport: Sydney, Australia
Identification: MMSI number: 503728000
IMO number: 9628374
Call sign: VHEH
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Status: In service
General characteristics
Type: Offshore support vessel
Displacement: 6,500 tonnes
Length: 110.9 m (364 ft) length overall
Beam: 22 m (72 ft)
Draught: 6.6 m (22 ft)
Depth: 9 m (30 ft)
Ice class: DNV ICE-1B
Installed power: 4 × Wärtsilä 6L32, 2,880-kilowatt (3,860 hp) each
Propulsion: Diesel-electric; Two Rolls-Royce Contaz 35 azimuth thrusters (2 × 3,000 kW)
Two bow thrusters (2 × 1,800 kW)
One retractable azimuth thruster in bow (1,500 kW)1,500-kilowatt (2,000 hp) bow azimuth thruster
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Aviation facilities: Helipad

Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield is a ship of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Ordered by DOF Subsea as the offshore support vessel MSV Skandi Bergen, the ship was laid down by STX OSV. During construction, the vessel was sold to the RAN in March 2012. Renamed Ocean Shield, the ship entered service in June 2012 as a civilian-crewed humanitarian and disaster relief vessel, operating in support of the RAN's amphibious warfare vessels.[1] In 2016, after the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships (LHDs) enter service, Ocean Shield will be transferred to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to replace sister ship Ocean Protector.

Construction and acquisition[edit]

The offshore support vessel was ordered on 10 December 2010 by DOF Subsea, from STX OSV.[2][3] The ship, to be named Skandi Bergen, was laid down at STX OSV's shipyard in Tulcea, Romania on 11 April 2011, with yard number 771.[2] The hull was transferred to the company's Norwegian facility at Søviknes for fitting out.[2]

She has a displacement of 6,500 tonnes, a length overall of 110.9 metres (364 ft), a beam of 22 metres (72 ft), a depth of 9 metres (30 ft), and a draught of 6.6 metres (22 ft).[2] The propulsion system consists of two Rolls-Royce Contaz 35 3,000-kilowatt (4,000 hp) azimuth thrusters at the stern, two 1,800-kilowatt (2,400 hp) tunnel thrusters at the bow, plus a 1,500-kilowatt (2,000 hp), retractable azimuth thruster, also near the bow.[2][4] Maximum speed is 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph).[4] Power is generated by four Wärtsilä 6L32 2,880-kilowatt (3,860 hp) medium speed diesel generators.[2][4]

On 19 March 2012, the Australian government announced the purchase of Skandi Bergen in a group of Defence acquisitions.[5] The ship cost A$130 million: the price did not include the vessel's subsea equipment.[3][5] This equipment was retained by the shipyard for installation in a replacement vessel ordered by DOF Subsea, with a 60-tonne SWL crane fitted instead to Skandi Bergen.[3][5][6] Fitting out was completed on 22 May 2012, and on 3 June 2012, the ship's new name, Ocean Shield, was announced.[2][1] Although operated as part of the RAN, Ocean Shield carries a civilian crew, and uses the prefix "Australian Defence Vessel" (ADV), instead of being commissioned and receiving the HMAS prefix.[1][5]

The ship will be used to transport equipment and personnel as part of humanitarian and disaster relief operations.[1] Ocean Shield will supplement the capability of the amphibious warfare ships Tobruk and Choules until the Canberra-class ships enter service.[1][5] The ship has accommodation for around 100 people, and is equipped with a helipad, affixed to the bow, above the bridge.[4] She also has 1,000 square metres (11,000 sq ft) of deck area for cargo and equipment.[6]

Operational history[edit]

Sea trials were overseen by Teekay Shipping.[6] Ocean Shield arrived in Fremantle, Australia on 28 June 2012, and was accepted into naval service on 30 June.[6][4]

In October 2013, the ship participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney, Australia.[7]

Ocean Shield deploying Bluefin-21 during the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in April 2014.

In March 2014, Ocean Shield was sent to participate in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, off the west coast of Australia.[8] The vessel, fitted with a towed pinger locator on loan from the United States Navy, sailed from Perth on 31 March, expecting to begin searching on 3 April for the underwater locator beacon attached to the aircraft's flight recorders.[9][10][11] Starting on 14 April 2014, Ocean Shield stopped towing the pinger locator and instead deployed the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Bluefin-21, a sidescan sonar robotic submarine, to map the area.[12]

Around 2016, once the Canberra-class LHDs are fully operational, Ocean Shield will be transferred to the Customs Marine Unit of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.[1][5] She will replace sister ship Ocean Protector, whose charter is due to expire that year.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Offices of the Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel, Ocean Shield the Navy's newest humanitarian and disaster relief vessel
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Ocean Shield (31470)". DNV Exchange. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  3. ^ a b c MarineLog, DOF Subsea orders OSCV to replace newbuild sold to Australia
  4. ^ a b c d e Royal Australian Navy, ADV Ocean Shield
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Ellery, Defence buys boat bound for Customs
  6. ^ a b c d Navy News, New Shield has arrived
  7. ^ Royal Australian Navy, Participating Warships
  8. ^ BBC, Malaysia Airways MH370: Relatives in Beijing clashes
  9. ^ McPhedran & Swallow, Weather forces Navy ship to narrowly miss vital clue in Malaysia Airlines mystery
  10. ^ CBS News, Warship with black box detector joins search for missing Malaysian jet
  11. ^ BBC News, Malaysia flight MH370: No time limit on search, says Tony Abbott
  12. ^ Rania Spooner (15 April 2014). "Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: sea-bed hunt hits hurdle as Bluefin-21 resurfaces". Sydney Morning Herald. 


News articles
Press releases

External links[edit]

Media related to Ocean Shield (ship, 2012) at Wikimedia Commons