Australia has signed a contract with Finland company Boomeranger Boats to supply the sea boats for the Royal Australian Navy’s new Arafura-class off-shore patrol vessels.
CAPTION: An artists impression of a Boomeranger 10.5m special-operations RHIB, as ordered by the Royal Australian Navy for its new off-shore patrol vessels. Boomeranger image.
Under the contract, Boomeranger is obliged to deliver two davit-launched 8.5m fast rescue boats and one 10.5m ramp-launched special operations boat for each of the OPVs.
Both boats are rigid-hulled inflatables with inboard engines.
In total, the contract comprises 41 RHIBs to be delivered over 10 years, with the first deliveries scheduled to arrive to support acceptance of the first OPV in 2021.
As the primary role of the OPV will be to undertake policing missions, maritime patrol and response duties, the sea boats are a significant weapon system for the OPV capability.
Both sea-boat models are existing designs from earlier projects delivered by Boomeranger.
The 10.5m version is an enhanced variant of the ramp-launched RHIB of the original Luerssen OPV delivered to the Royal Brunei Navy.
Twelve OPVs will be built under the SEA 1180 Phase 1 OPV, Armidale-class patrol boat programme.
The first two OPVs will be built by ASC at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, with the first keel laid in May this year.
The remaining 10 will be built at Civmec’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.
Lürssen of Germany is the prime contractor.