Luerssen Australia started building Arafura-class OPV

Australia has marked another milestone with its Arafura-lass offshore patrol vessel (OPV) programme as two halves of the first-of-class have come together to form a complete hull.

The segments were built by Luerssen Australia and its South Australian partner, ASC, and were joined at Osborne Naval Shipyard.

The coming together marks the largest industrial manoeuvre at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, a joint statement on 6 May by Linda Reynolds, the Australian Minister for Defence, and Melissa Price, the Australian Minister for Defence Industry, announced.

The vessel is part of an AUD3.6 billion (USD2.3 billion) contract for 12 OPVs signed in late January 2018 with German shipbuilder Lürssen under Australia’s Sea 1180 Phase 1 programme.

The platform has a standard displacement of 1,640 tonnes, an overall length of 80 m, an overall beam of 13 m, and a hull draught of 4 m. It has a crew complement of 40 and can offer accommodation for up to 60 personnel.

Construction work on the first ship began in November 2018 at Osborne Naval Shipyard, while work on the second-of-class commenced at the same location in June 2019.

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