Construction begins on Australia’s 6th Arafura-class OPV

Luerssen Australia, a subsidiary of Naval Vessels Lürssen (NVL Group), has started construction of the Royal Australian Navy’s sixth Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV).

Luerssen Australia

As informed, the first piece of steel has been cut in Henderson, WA, for what will be known as HMAS Carpentaria.

Luerssen Australia Chief Executive Officer Jens Nielsen said this represented another significant achievement in the program.

“It is a testament to the efforts of everyone involved in the Program that construction is underway on vessel number six, as we continue to work on five other vessels across two sites in Osborne and Henderson,” he added.

Luerssen Australia now has six vessels under construction in South Australia and Western Australia.

The Arafura-class will replace the Armidale-class and Cape-class patrol boats, Huon-class coastal minehunters and Leeuwin-class survey ships and will primarily be used for constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties.

The units will measure 80 meters in length and displace around 1,700 tonnes. Their design also includes two changeable, containerized mission systems, supporting secondary roles such as mine hunting, unmanned aerial system missions, and hydrographic surveying.

The first unit was launched at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia in December last year.

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Overall, Luerssen Australia will deliver 12 OPVs to the Australian Navy.