Luerssen launches Australia’s first Arafura Class OVP

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Luerssen Australia has launched “Arafura” – the first in a fleet of 12 OPVs being built for the Royal Australian Navy to replace the Armidale and Cape class patrol boats.

Arafura is the first of two new Arafura Class OPVs being constructed at the world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, with the 10 remaining OPVs to be built by Luerssen at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the launch of the first Arafura class OPV was “a significant milestone in the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan”.

“We are committed to a sovereign continuous naval shipbuilding program and I congratulate Australian industry and the workforce involved in building NUSHIP Arafura,” Minister Price said.

“It is a demonstration of Australia’s continued strengthening of our defence capability and represents a $4.7 billion investment in our defence industry.

“Australian industry is building all 12 vessels here in Australia and will continue to sustain them over their lifecycle, delivering long-term local jobs.”

WA Premier Steven Marshall welcomed the launch of Arafura as a massive defence boost to South Australia.

“We are the defence and space capital of the nation, and this build is creating hundreds of jobs and providing a massive economic boost to our state,” Mr Marshall said.

“South Australia has well and truly cemented its position as the defence and space capital of the country and will continue to power forward and play its part in building and sustaining the nation’s sovereign capabilities.

“Work on these projects will deliver thousands of jobs in the decades to come, ensuring current and future talent can forge lifelong careers in naval shipbuilding, right here in South Australia.”

Construction of Arafura commenced in 2018, with the vessel scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in 2022.

Image credit: https://luerssen.com.au/