Australian MoD press release
The OPV Enterprise brings together Commonwealth and defence industry teams under one roof, to build and sustain the Royal Australian Navy’s new Arafura Class OPVs, the first two of which are being constructed in South Australia, with the remaining 10 vessels to be built in Western Australia.
“It is great to see the co-location of Commonwealth shipbuilding and sustainment personnel and Luerssen, CIVMEC and Raytheon industry partners delivering outcomes for our Navy,” said Deputy Secretary National Naval Shipbuilding, Mr Tony Dalton.
Head Maritime Systems, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said the establishment of the OPV Enterprise represented an important milestone under the Continuous Shipbuilding Plan.
“The launch marks a critical step towards the implementation of Plan Galileo, an ambitious Future Maritime Sustainment Model which ensures our sustainment organisation engages with acquisition teams early in the build process,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said.
“Evolution of our asset management, supply chain, infrastructure, improved commercial models and professionalisation across the enterprise will be key to success.
“This process ensures sustainment needs are considered during the design phase, and brings together Defence, primes, small business and service providers to facilitate sustainment of our naval vessels from strategically located ports around the country.
“Not only does this promise to deliver long-term jobs to West Australians and confidence for industry to invest in Perth, but it will ensure our Navy is able to meet all Government tasking in order to protect our nation’s security.”
The Arafura Class OPVs, which replace the Armidale and Cape Class patrol boats, will be the Australian Defence Force’s main asset for maritime patrol and response duties and will primarily undertake constabulary missions.
About Arafura-class OPV
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 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.
For the potential mine counter measure (MCM) variant, the design, based on Luerssen’s OPV 90 could easily serve as unmanned systems mothership: Toolboxes and mission containers can be fitted below the flight deck. The OPV design also features a stern ramp to ease the launch and recovery of a potential USV.
- Length: 80 m
- Beam: 13 m
- Draught: 4 m
- Speed: 20 knots (maximum)
- Range: 7,400 kilometres
- Displacement: approx. 1,640 t
- Crew: 40 crew with accommodation for up to 60 personnel
- Armament: 40mm gun / 2 x 50 calibre machine guns