The first Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel reached a significant milestone today with a ceremonial keel laying ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.
CAPTION: Boilermaker Kane Ramsay and Document Editor Lauren Pitman prepare to assist Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan to lay a traditional coin under the keel of the future HMAS Arafura. Photo supplied by ASC.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan positioned a coin to commemorate the laying of the keel for the first vessel, to be named Arafura.
“The keel-laying ceremony represents a great naval tradition and I am honoured to be joined today by the two youngest shipbuilders in the Osborne shipyard in placing the commemorative coin under the keel,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
The youngest male and female shipyard workers, Boilermaker Kane Ramsay and Document Editor Lauren Pitman, featured in today’s ceremony.
Kane Ramsey said he was excited to be part of this new program.
“It’s great to be looking to the future of shipbuilding,” he said.
Lauren Pitman said the lead ship was coming together well and it was great to be a part of today’s traditional milestone.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the ship completed in the coming months,” she said.
ASC CEO Stuart Whiley said the Arafura-class was ASC’s second shipbuilding program, commenced as the company continued to successfully complete the Air Warfare Destroyer program.
“I would like to pay tribute to the skilled and experienced workforce of ASC Shipbuilding, who are carrying out the shipbuilding work on this program, under contract to ASC,” Mr Whiley said.
Arafura class is named for the Arafura Sea between Australia and Indonesia, acknowledging the importance placed on the coastal regions around Australia and their significant role in the nation’s security and economic prosperity.
The naming of the Arafura class also honours the significance of northern Australia’s waters to Australia’s maritime security and the importance of the continuing work of the Navy across the Top End.
Prime contractor Luerssen Australia along with shipbuilding sub-contractor ASC commenced construction of the first vessel on 15 November 2018.
Vice Admiral Noonan thanked defence industry counterparts and Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group for their collective efforts to get the project to this point, on time and on budget.
This project will see the delivery of 12 offshore patrol vessels to the Royal Australian Navy to replace the Armidale-class patrol boats.
The first ship will be launched in 2021, followed by the second from the Osborne shipyard in 2022.
Construction of the third vessel will commence in 2020 at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia, where the remaining nine vessels will be constructed.
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