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Auxiliary Tanker Double Hull Design

BMT developed a unique and flexible double hull design to secure the future of HMAS SUCCESS, the Royal Australian Navy's auxiliary oiler and replenishment vessel.


BMT carried out a series of studies for Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) concerning the future of HMAS SUCCESS, the RAN’s auxiliary oiler and replenishment vessel.  Due to her age, HMAS SUCCESS was faced with not meeting modern design regulations (MARPOL) which required a double hull configuration. The project was supported throughout by BMT and culminated in the detailed design of the preferred option which involved constructing a second hull from within the existing hull of the vessel. BMT's design was implemented in 2011 and effectively restored the ship's compliance with IMO MARPOL regulations.

BMT Approach

BMT carried out an extensive Options Study, exploring six initial options. The most feasible, flexible and cost effective option was the construction of a second hull from within the existing hull to be serviced by a new ballast and cargo transfer system.

The detailed design of an entirely new hull and ballast-cargo transfer system for retrofit to an existing ship presented some complex design challenges.  To overcome this, BMT utilised laser scanning technology to accurately model the internal and external components of HMAS SUCCESS’s Cargo Tanks.  This ensured the achievement of project objectives in a shorter timeframe and at reduced cost, improved accuracy and reduced risk.

Key Features

A unique design was developed by BMT which provided ultimate operational flexibility to the RAN. The design enabled two distinct modes of operation:

  • A mode enabling IMO compliance whilst sacrificing some cargo carrying capacity; and
  • A mode enabling increased cargo carrying capacity for urgent operations whilst relinquishing compliance (temporarily) to IMO regulations.

The design development process featured state of the art laser scanning technology and modelling of the design in an integrated 3D CAD environment.

Key Benefits

BMT’s work achieved a highly flexible and compliant design whilst allowing HMAS SUCCESS to continue to be a valued asset within the RAN until her capability replacement in 2022; with a cost-effective strategy.