ASC readies keel for first Australian Navy Arafura-class OPV

The keel for the lead ship in the new class of Royal Australian Navy Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel has officially been constructed, Australia’s defense minister has announced.

More than 50 tonnes of Australian steel has been assembled at Osborne Naval Shipyard, satisfying the contractual requirement for keel construction of the lead ship.

Construction on the first OPV started in November last year.

“This represents the ongoing success story of the Government’s $90 billion continuous shipbuilding endeavour in Australia,” defense minister Christopher Pyne said.

The first two OPVs will be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, and the project will move to Henderson in Western Australia in 2020 where further ten OPVs will be built by CIVMEC in partnership with Luerssen Australia.

“ASC is working very well with Luerssen Australia to build the first two OPVs.”

The $3.6 billion project will create around 1000 direct and indirect jobs.

A ceremony to mark the keel laying of the first ship, Arafura, the lead ship in the Arafura class, will be held soon after the blocks are structurally completed and moved to the fitting out facility.

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