In April 2018, Luerssen Australia awarded Civmec the contract for the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA 1180 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program.
The project includes the supply and processing of steel for 12 vessels. Following the build of the first two vessels in South Australia, Civmec will undertake the fabrication and consolidation of the following 10 vessels at its new world-class main assembly and sustainment hall in Henderson, Western Australia.
The preparation and profile cutting of steel plates for the first two vessels being built in South Australia is ongoing at Henderson.
Delivery of the OPV program is enabling us to unlock the value of local steel shipbuilding. We are investing 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. When fully operational, the main assembly and sustainment hall will provide employment opportunities for up to an additional 1,000 Australians, including 100 new apprentices and trainees.
The new OPV fleet will be named the Arafura class in deference to their planned primary area of operation – the Arafura Sea 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, is planned to enter service in 2021.