Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced the opening of tenders for Australian industry to provide an innovative sustainment model for the Royal Australian Navy’s new offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), the Arafura Class.
The Capability Life Cycle Manager will provide specialist asset management services to support and sustain the Arafura Class.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the request for tender was the first part of a tailored sustainment plan.
"This will be a modern, innovative and highly skilled sustainment plan to deliver a complex naval capability which is reliable, fit-for-purpose, and represents a new generation of naval operations," Minister Price explained.
Construction is well underway on two of the 12 Arafura Class OPVs, which are a key part of the Morrison government’s $90 billion continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program.
"Establishing a skilled Australian industrial base with the capacity and skills to maintain our new fleet is key to building and maintaining a sovereign capability. Australia’s regional small businesses will play a key role in delivering sovereign maritime sustainment to support the program," Minister Price added.
An Industry Briefing will be held in Perth on 16 March 2020 about the Capability Life Cycle Management services model.
Submissions for the request for tender will close on 24 April. Further information is available here.
SEA 1180 Phase 1 OPVs will replace and improve upon the capability delivered by the 13 Armidale Class patrol boats by acquiring 12 new vessels, which will be known as the Arafura Class when they enter service from 2022.
The primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions, and the OPV will be the primary ADF asset for maritime patrol and response duties.
A competitive evaluation process (CEP) commenced in late 2015 and concluded with the signing of a contract with Lürssen Australia on 31 January 2018.
Lead ship HMAS Arafura, named after the Arafura Sea in northern Australia, is currently under construction at the ASC Shipyard in Osborne, South Australia.
The project will move to Henderson in Western Australia in 2020 where 10 OPVs will be built by Civmec in partnership with Lürssen Australia. It is estimated the $3.6 billion SEA 1180 project will create around 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Lürssen is a global leader in designing and building ships of the highest quality for demanding customers all over the world.
The German company beat 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.
Civmec is an integrated, multi-disciplinary construction and engineering services provider to the oil and gas, metals and minerals, infrastructure, and marine and defence sectors.
Headquartered in Henderson, WA, Civmec has regional offices in Broome (WA), Darwin (Northern Territory), Newcastle and Sydney (NSW), and Gladstone (Queensland).