Australian MoD Press Release
Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP said the launch of NUSHIP Arafura was a step
forward in protecting Australian borders and offshore interests, providing increased
maritime patrol and response capability and interoperability with Australian vessels and
“The Arafura class OPVs represent the future of Australia’s border protection and will be the
primary asset for maritime patrol and response duties,” Minister Dutton said.
“Our commitment to a secure, stable and prosperous region will be bolstered by the
introduction of these vessels, with state of the art sensors and command and
“The build of the Arafura class OPVs is a cornerstone of the Australian Government’s Naval
Shipbuilding Plan, which will employ 15,000 workers across the country by 2030.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the launch of the first Arafura class OPV was
a significant milestone in the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
“We are committed to a sovereign continuous naval shipbuilding program and I
congratulate Australian industry and the workforce involved in building NUSHIP Arafura,”
Minister Price said.
“It is a demonstration of Australia’s continued strengthening of our defence capability and
represents a $4.7 billion investment in our defence industry.
“Australian industry is building all 12 vessels here in Australia and will continue to sustain
them over their lifecycle, delivering long-term local jobs.”
The first two OPVs are being constructed by Luerssen Australia at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, setting the foundation for continuous shipbuilding before the Hunter Class frigate program progresses through prototyping to construction.
The 10 remaining OPVs will be built by Luerssen Australia at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia.
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 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.
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