Construction has commenced on the Navy’s new offshore patrol vessels at Osborne in South Australia.
CAPTION: Sailors from the Royal Australian Navy Construction Branch inspect a model of an Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide. Photo by Lieutenant Ryan Zerbe.
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said the multi-billion dollar project would see 12 OPVs delivered.
“OPVs will have an important role protecting our borders and will provide greater range and endurance than the existing patrol boat fleet,” Minister Pyne said.
“The first two vessels will be built at Osborne before Civmec starts constructing the next 10 at Henderson in Western Australia.”
Minister Pyne said ASC Shipbuilding would use its expertise gained through the Air Warfare Destroyer program to build the first two OPVs.
He said it was a fantastic achievement to start construction on time and on budget and thanked everyone involved.
The OPVs will be named the Arafura class, with the first ship entering service in 2022 being named HMAS Arafura.
Minister Pyne said the name Arafura, reflecting the strong connection between the Royal Australian Navy and the maritime waters it patrols.
“Assigning a name to a warship is a significant milestone in the introduction of a new capability.
“This is the first time the Australian Navy has used the name Arafura and represents a new generation of naval operations.”