The project includes the supply and processing of steel for 12 vessels. The first two vessels will be built in South Australia, while Civmec is undertaking the block fabrication for the following ten vessels at its manufacturing hall, and the consolidation will then occur at the company’s world-class assembly hall in Henderson, Western Australia.
Delivery of the OPV program is enabling us to unlock the value of local steel shipbuilding. We have invested in skills and the transfer of knowledge with local subcontractors and suppliers to support the establishment of a competitive Australian shipbuilding industry and supply chain that can eventually export to the global market.
The new OPV fleet will be named the Arafura class in deference to their planned primary area of operation – the Arafura Sea, which lies west of the Pacific Ocean, overlying the continental shelf between Australia and Indonesian New Guinea.
The primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties. State-of-the-art sensors as well as command and communication systems will allow the OPVs to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels, other Australian Defence Force units and other regional partners.
The lead vessel, HMAS Arafura, was officially launched in December 2021.
Images: Luerssen Australia