OPV NUSHIP Eyre launched at Osborne Naval Shipyard

The Arafura class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) NUSHIP Eyre has been launched at South Australia’s world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard.

Named for the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, NUSHIP Eyre is the second in a fleet of 12 OPVs being built by Luerssen Australia for the Royal Australian Navy. It is the last of its class to be constructed in South Australia and follows the launch of NUSHIP Arafura in December 2021.

South Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries, Susan Close, said the vessel’s launch represented an important milestone in the state’s continuous naval shipbuilding program.

“The OPV program is a significant step forward in Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program which is centred in South Australia,” Minister Close said.

“This program has been critical to maintaining our workforce and industry capability in the lead up to the larger shipbuilding programs scheduled at Osborne, including the Hunter class frigates and SSN-AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines.”

“A continuous program of naval shipbuilding is vital to ensuring we can increase the capacity and capability of our industrial base to ultimately grow the workforce from 3,500 to more than 8,500 by the 2040s.”

A number of South Australian-based companies have been involved in the OPV program including Saab Australia, Raytheon Australia, ENGIE Axima, Eptec, Penske Australia in collaboration with MTU, along with Tasmanian company Taylor Brothers who established a footprint in the state to undertake work on the project locally.

Luerssen Australia CEO, Jens Nielsen, said the launch was a testament to the hard work and cooperation of everyone at Osborne Naval Shipyard.

“We would not be launching this ship without the commitment and passion from our production and shipbuilding teams, including the Naval Construction Branch and Navy,” Mr Nielsen said.

”Everyone has worked tirelessly to deliver a formidable vessel to the RAN.”

Head Navy Capability of the Royal Australian Navy, Rear Admiral Stephen Hughes, congratulated the workforce involved on the launch.

“On behalf of the Chief of Navy, and the sailors and officers of the Royal Australian Navy, I congratulate the defence industry workforce at Osborne on the launch of Australia’s second OPV, NUSHIP Eyre,” said Rear Admiral Hughes.

“We look forward to accepting Eyre into service and thank the many skilled shipbuilders who contribute to ensuring the RAN continues to operate capable warships of the highest quality.”

The OPV program is part of a major expansion of the nation’s naval capabilities being spearheaded in South Australia, which includes delivery of the first two OPVs; a fleet of nine Hunter class frigates; Australia’s SSN-AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines; as well as the full cycle docking and life-of-type extension of the Collins class submarines and a major upgrade of the Hobart class destroyers’ combat management system.

The remaining OPV vessels will be built by Luerssen Australia at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia.

Read the media release