Australia’s new fleet of Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) are currently under construction at the nation’s world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard, located in South Australia.
The OPVs have been an important step in Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy, with construction of the first two OPVs taking place in South Australia, before the remaining eight are built in Western Australia to align with the commencement of the Hunter class frigate program at Osborne Naval Shipyard. The program is estimated at around $4 billion and will create more than 400 jobs, plus additional supply chain opportunities for hundreds of South Australian businesses.
Following a competitive evaluation process, the Australian Government selected the subsidiary of German company Lurssen, Luerssen Australia, as the successful designer of the OPVs. They have partnered with Adelaide-based shipbuilding company ASC Shipbuilding to build the first two OPVs and Perth-based company Civmec will construct the remaining 10 new vessels. Adelaide-based Saab Australia will provide the combat management system on the OPVs, creating hundreds of high-tech defence jobs.