The Australian Government’s $90 billion National Shipbuilding Program has reached another milestone with the ceremonial keel laying of the second Arafura-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) in Adelaide under Project SEA 1180 Phase 1.
The keel laying is an important shipyard and naval tradition that brings good luck to the build of the ship and the life of the vessel by placing a coin under the keel. Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN announced that the vessel will be commissioned as HMAS Eyre when it comes into operational service in early 2023.
“The next four OPVs will be named HMAS Pilbara, HMAS Gippsland, HMAS Illawarra and HMAS Carpentaria”Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, Chief of Navy
“The names encapsulate the importance of these littoral regions around Australia and mark their significance to the nation’s security and prosperity,” Vice Admiral Noonan added.
“Furthermore, the naming of each vessel is the beginning of a longstanding bond between the named region, communities and centres and that of the Royal Australian Navy, our Navy People and the Men and Women who will ultimately serve in each of these ships.
“In spite of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we are still sending our Navy people to sea, we are still building ships and we are still meeting the requirements of Government to defend Australia and our national interests.”
The twelve Australian vessels are based on the PV80 design with the first two vessels to be built at ASC’s Osborne ship yard in South Australia before production moves to Civmec’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.
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