Based on Fiber-Optic Gyroscope technology, iXblue’s inertial navigation systems will provide the 12 new Arafura-class vessels with highly accurate and reliable navigation capabilities in all environments, including within GNSS-denied operational areas.
“We would like to thank the Royal Australian Navy and our Defence industry partners for their trust in our navigation systems as Australia embarks on the largest fleet modernization in decades. To be chosen as the supplier of INS and gyrocompass for the first of Australia’s continuous shipbuilding programs is a great recognition of our technology and of our ongoing support to the Royal Australian Navy,” says David Cunningham, commercial director at iXblue. “It’s also a great opportunity to invest in our Australian workforce and local partners and suppliers. We’re looking forward to our ongoing collaboration in Australia“.
Already equipping more than 650 surface ships and underwater platforms in 40 navies and coast guards worldwide, iXblue’s recent success in SEA1180 continues 15 years of continuous service and support to the Royal Australian Navy. In addition to supplying equipment to Defence, iXblue also supplies specialist geospatial services and recently completed the first commercial hydrographic survey project under the SEA2400 Hydrographic Industry Partnership Programme (HIPP).
Construction on the first OPV to be built in Australia began in March 2020. This will be the third of twelve Arafura class OPVs, and the first to be built at the Civmec Construction & Engineering shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. The first two vessels are already under construction by Luerssen Australia and ASC Pty Ltd in Adelaide.
The primary role of the 1640 tonnes 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.