MV Sycamore

MV Sycamore multi-role aviation training vessel (MATV) entering Sydney Harbour.
Type Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel
  • Helicopter flight and deck training
  • Officer sea familiarisation
  • Navigation training
  • Diving support and mine warfare training
  • Target towing
  • Consort duties
  • Torpedo recovery
Builder Damen, Haiphong
Laid Down 2014
Launched 30 August 2016
Displacement 2935 tonnes (full load)
Length 93.96 metres
Beam 14.4 metres
Draught 3.90 metres
Main Machinery
  • 2 x diesel engines
  • 2 x shafts
  • 17.8 knots (max)
  • 17.1 knots
    (85% MCR in Sea State 4)
  • 4373 nautical miles @ 17.1 knots
  • 5550 nautical miles @ 16.2 knots
  • 19 civilian crew
  • 71 ADF personnel/trainees

The Royal Australian Navy's new multi-role aviation training vessel (MATV), MV Sycamore was launched in Vietnam in August 2016.

The ship’s primary role is to support maritime aviation training of Defence helicopter flight crews. The 94-metre civilian ship is a flight deck equipped sea-going training vessel for most types of helicopters used by the Australian Defence Force.

The ship arrived in Sydney on 26 June 2017 and final acceptance of MV Sycamore by the Commonwealth, as an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Special Purpose Ship was achieved on 28 July 2017.

The Commonwealth have engaged Teekay Shipping (Australia) to crew, operate and maintain the vessel. Teekay established the required operating and safety certifications to enable the initial operational voyage on 4 August 2017. The flight deck operational support team is provided under contract by OPSTAR.

HMAS Toowoomba's boarding party approach the training ship MV Sycamore during a boarding drill as part of Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2018.
HMAS Toowoomba's boarding party approach the training ship MV Sycamore during a boarding drill as part of Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2018.

The MV Sycamore will have two swings of 19 contracted civilian crew who will operate and maintain the vessel. Up to 91 Commonwealth personnel may be embarked as Special Persons, with an overnight capacity for 71. The ship will provide in excess of 300 sea days per year, delivering support for a range of training functions, including sea familiarisation for recruits and officers, mine warfare training and diving support, practice torpedo / weapon recovery and consort duties.

MV Sycamore is fitted with the aircraft ship integrated secure and traverse system (ASIST) to enable MH-60R helicopter pilots to safely land and take off from the deck in severe weather conditions. Night-time helicopter operations are supported, along with the ability to re-fuel helicopters on the deck or in flight. The vessel is also capable of supporting the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.

MV Sycamore has completed first-of-class flight trials for the EC135 helicopter to support the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) program which commences January 2018. The Initial Operating Capability (IOC) milestone was achieved in December 2017.

MV Sycamore at sea.
MV Sycamore at sea.