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Milestone moment for Arafura class OPVs

A major step forward in Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program has been achieved, with the launch of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), NUSHIP Arafura.

NUSHIP Arafura is the first of two new Arafura class OPVs being constructed in South Australia by Luerssen Australia at the world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard.

Since construction began in 2018, a number of local businesses at all stages of the supply chain have been involved in the OPV program. Local industry involvement includes:

  • Saab Australia is partnered with Luerssen on the design and integration of the Arafura class Situational Awareness System (SAS)
  • Raytheon Australia is capability life cycle manager for the program
  • ENGIE Axima is responsible for the design, manufacturing, testing and installation of the chilled water systems, provisions systems, ventilation and fire suppression systems
  • Penske Australia in collaboration with MTU are supplying the propulsion system including engines, gearboxes, air compressors and monitoring equipment
  • Tasmanian business Taylor Brothers have established a footprint in South Australia and design, produce and install accommodation spaces for the OPV project.

A fleet of 12 OPVs is being built for the Royal Australian Navy to replace the Armidale and Cape class patrol boats. The first two OPVs being constructed by Luerssen Australia at Osborne Naval Shipyard, set the foundation for continuous shipbuilding before the Hunter class frigate program progresses from prototyping to construction.

This project along with South Australia’s strong history in the naval shipbuilding industry, have further developed critical workforce and industry capability ahead of larger shipbuilding programs scheduled for Osborne.

The Arafura vessel is scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Australia Navy in 2022.