Defence denies cost increases to OPV contract

While Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) designer Lürssen and Australian shipbuilder Austal remain in contract negotiations for the SEA 1180 project, the Department of Defence has said no additional costs have been added to the project.

Despite the government introducing Austal to the project, the department has maintained there has been no change to Lürssen's tendered offer when the German company was only partnered with ASC and Civmec.

"The final agreed contract value with Lürssen Australia matches Lürssen’s tendered offer," a spokesperson for the department told Defence Connect.

Questions around the project continue to arise, with industry experts questioning how the government was able to recently sign a contract with Lürssen when the final costings of the 12 vessels and arrangements remain undecided between Austal and Lürssen.

Just last month the government confirmed Civmec will provide the steel from Australian suppliers for all 12 OPVs.

Lürssen was named as the preferred designer for the project in November last year, beating out bids from Dutch company Damen, which was also partnered with ASC and Civmec, as well as German company Fassmer, which was in a joint venture with Austal, for the SEA 1180 project.

The first two OPVs will be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia by ASC, with construction starting this year. The remaining 10 will be constructed at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in WA from 2020.

The OPVs will have an important role protecting Australia’s borders and will provide greater range and endurance for the Navy than the existing patrol boat fleet.

Defence denies cost increases to OPV contract
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