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Royal Australian Navy First Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura coming together


The Morrison Government’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program has reached another milestone with the two halves of the first Arafura Class OPV coming together to form a complete hull.


Royal Australian Navy First Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura coming together 925 001 First Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura (Picture source: Commonwealth of Australia 2020)


In a further milestone for the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program, the two halves of the first of class ship, Arafura, built by Luerssen Australia and its partner ASC have been brought together and welded to form a complete hull. It marks the largest industrial manoeuvre at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.


Royal Australian Navy First Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura coming together 925 002First Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura (Picture source: Commonwealth of Australia 2020)


Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the Australian Naval Infrastructure (ANI) operations team manoeuvred the two mega-blocks of the ship together, weighing 1,000 tonnes in total, with only millimetres between them.

The first of the OPVs, Arafura, is planned to enter service from the early 2020’s and will conduct border protection and maritime patrol missions alongside other Australian and regional partners.


Royal Australian Navy First Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura coming together 925 003 First Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura (Picture source: Commonwealth of Australia 2020)


“The OPV program is delivering benefits across Australia, with the first two vessels under construction at Osborne in South Australia and the remaining 10 vessels to be built at Henderson in Western Australia.”

The program of 12 vessels will replace and improve upon the capability delivered by the Armidale Class and Cape Class Patrol Boats.