Finland’s Boomeranger to build RHIBS for RAN OPVs

Finnish boat builder Boomeranger Boats has been contracted to supply sea boats for the Royal Australian Navy’s Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) program.

Then-minister for defense Christopher Pyne inspects a model of the Arafura class offshore patrol vessel, at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide in November 2018, Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The deal will see the company deliver two davit-launched 8,5 meter fast rescue boats and one 10,5 meter ramp-launched special operations boat for each of the OPVs.

Both boats are rigid hull inflatable boats with inboard engines. In total the contract comprises 41 RHIBs to be delivered over a period of 10 years.

According to the company, the first delivery of sea boats will arrive to support acceptance of the first OPV in 2021.

As the primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties, the sea boats are a significant weapon system for the capability.

Both of the sea boats models are existing designs from earlier projects delivered by Boomeranger. The 10,5 meter sea boat is an enhanced variant of the ramp-launched RHIB of the original Luerssen OPV delivered to the Royal Brunei Navy.

The first Arafura-class OPV started construction in November 2018. The ships will measure 80 meters in length and displace around 1,700 tons.