OPV Construction Commences
(Source: Australian Department of Defense; issued Nov 15, 2018)
In a momentous day for Australia’s national shipbuilding endeavor, construction has commenced on the Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels at Osborne in South Australia.

The Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the multi-billion dollar project will see 12 OPVs delivered.

The OPVs will have an important role protecting our borders and will provide greater range and endurance than the existing patrol boat fleet.

“The OPV project is expected to create up to 1000 direct and indirect jobs,” said Minister Pyne.

The first two vessels will be built at Osborne before Civmec starts constructing the next 10 at Henderson in Western Australia.

Minister Pyne said ASC Shipbuilding will use its expertise gained through the Air Warfare Destroyer program to build the first two OPVs.

“These new vessels are being built in Australian facilities, with Australian steel, and by Australian workers.”

“Only a year ago we announced Lürssen was the preferred tenderer.”

“It’s a fantastic achievement to start construction on time and on budget and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the project.”

The Government’s $90 billion dollar continuous naval shipbuilding program is the largest and most ambitious capital investment ever undertaken in Australia.

“This investment is about more than building ships, submarines and shipyards because it will establish an Australian sovereign capability.”

“The continuous shipbuilding program will act as a catalyst for industry growth which will secure thousands of Australian jobs for decades.”

“This is truly a national endeavour, with the Federal Government laying the foundations for an Australia-wide sovereign naval shipbuilding enterprise.”

The OPVs will be built using Australian steel, creating Australian jobs. The steel used today in construction is from the same batch cut by the Prime Minister in Henderson just a few weeks ago, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to the naval shipbuilding program and Australian jobs.

“Our commitment ends the boom-bust cycle which has afflicted the Australian naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry in the past.”

The Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Mathias Cormann said that ASC’s shipbuilding capacity has continued to grow from strength to strength since the Government initiated the Air Warfare Destroyer reform program in 2014.

“Over the past few years ASC has demonstrated its capacity to deliver high quality vessels for the Royal Australian Navy.

“ASC’s workforce has already delivered two state-of-the-art Air Warfare Destroyers, with a third due next year. They are also exceeding their performance benchmarks in support of our Collins Class submarine fleet.”

“We look forward to ASC continuing their strong work on the first two Offshore Patrol Vessels that begin construction today.”

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Construction Begins on Arafura Class Patrol Vessels
(Source: Royal Australian Navy; issued Nov 15, 2018)
RADM Hammond attended the Osborne Naval Shipyard to see the welding of the first two component blocks which will form part of the first vessel off the production line.

The event included the announcement that Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels will be known as the Arafura Class, with the first vessel to be commissioned HMAS Arafura when she enters service in 2022.

RADM Hammond said calling the vessels Arafura Class reflected the significance of Navy’s lasting operations to protect Australia’s interests in the Arafura Sea between Cape York and Cape Don.

“This name encapsulates the significant role our maritime regions have in the nation’s security and economic prosperity, importantly the littoral regions around the Australian continent,” he said.

“This is a much more capable class of ship with greater range, endurance, improved accommodation for the crew staying at sea longer and in every respect it will outperform older patrol boats.”

“The Arafura Class crews will be tight knit, executing very important missions that will ultimately lead to a great sense of camaraderie and achievement in doing something that’s worthwhile.”

The Arafura Class is a custom Australian variant of German shipbuilder Lürssen’s PV80 design and is 80 metres in length with a displacement of around 1,700 tonnes and a draught of 4 metres.

The Arafura Class will replace the Armidale Class and Cape Class patrol boats, Huon Class coastal minehunters and Leeuwin Class survey ships and will primarily be used for constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties.

The design includes two changeable, containerised mission systems, supporting secondary roles such as mine hunting, unmanned aerial system missions, and hydrographic surveying.

The first two Arafura Class vessels will be built at Osborne with the following ten to be built at Henderson in Western Australia.

Six of the vessels will be based at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin, four at HMAS Cairns in north Queensland and two at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.

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Shipbuilders Commence Construction of First Offshore Patrol Vessel
(Source: ASC; issued Nov 15, 2018)
Australia’s historic shift to continuous naval shipbuilding begins today with construction starting on a new modern fleet of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).

Australia’s historic shift to continuous naval shipbuilding begins today with construction starting on a new modern fleet of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).

In a major boost for local jobs and advanced manufacturing, Luerssen Australia and ASC today welded the first steel for the first of 12 OPVs for the Royal Australian Navy.

With its cutting-edge design and a pedigree of Luerssen’s 145 years of continuous shipbuilding, Luerssen Australia– the prime contractor and designer for the SEA1180 program – has pledged to deliver the new fleet on time and on budget.

The first two OPVs will be constructed at the Osborne Naval Shipyards in South Australia by ASC with the Australian steel cut in Western Australia by Civmec.

Luerssen Australia Chairman Tim Wagner said it was a great honour to be responsible for the delivery of the SEA1180 program and to be partnering with great companies like ASC, Civmec, Saab Australia, L3, Taylor Bros and Penske.

“This is a momentous day both for Luerssen Australia and Australia’s naval shipbuilding sector; a partnership with the Australian Government and the local industry that points to a bright future,” Mr Wagner said.

“We are proud to be part of this nation’s shipbuilding capability, and to ensure that German design and technology can be married with the best of Australian manufacturing and ingenuity.”

Mr Wagner also said Luerssen Australia is committed to further developing Australia’s sovereign capability and developing its supply chain through significant technology and skills transfer.

“We have also signed up a number of leading defence suppliers who will become our key sub-contractors, ensuring the benefits from SEA1180 will also flow through to many local small and medium-sized enterprises,” Mr Wagner said.

ASC Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Stuart Whiley said Australia’s shipbuilding capability has been built up over the past 10 years on the Air Warfare Destroyer program, which is delivering the Navy’s most potent naval surface vessels.

“Today, the highly skilled ASC shipbuilders commence their second surface shipbuilding project and Australia embarks on continuous naval shipbuilding for decades to come,” Mr Whiley said.

“Luerssen’s long history in shipbuilding and cutting-edge design expertise, together with ASC’s experience in building sophisticated and highly capable naval surface vessels for the Royal Australian Navy, means the OPV program is in safe hands.”

In June, Luerssen announced a JV with Civmec to establish Australian Maritime Shipbuilding and Export Group (AMSEG) as part of its commitment towards developing a sovereign shipbuilding sector.

“In our view, this nation has the necessary ingredients to establish Australia as a credible naval surface ship builder, the equal of any nation in the world,” Mr Wagner said.

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