The Royal Australian Navy has selected iXblue’s inertial navigation systems and gyrocompasses to equip the Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels.
Based on fiber-optic gyroscope technology, iXblue’s inertial navigation systems will provide the 12 new Arafura Class vessels with highly accurate and reliable navigation capabilities in all environments, including within GNSS-denied operational areas.
David Cunningham, commercial director at iXblue, said, “We would like to thank the Royal Australian Navy and our Defence industry partners for their trust in our navigation systems as Australia embarks on the largest fleet modernisation in decades. To be chosen as the supplier of INS and gyrocompass for the first of Australia’s continuous shipbuilding programs is a great recognition of our technology and of our ongoing support to the Royal Australian Navy.”
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 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.
“It’s also a great opportunity to invest in our Australian workforce and local partners and suppliers. We’re looking forward to our ongoing collaboration in Australia,” Cunningham added.
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.
Already equipping more than 650 surface ships and underwater platforms in 40 navies and coast guards worldwide, iXblue’s recent success in SEA 1180 continues 15 years of continuous service and support to the Royal Australian Navy.
In addition to supplying equipment to Defence, iXblue also supplies specialist geospatial services and recently completed the first commercial hydrographic survey project under the SEA 2400 Hydrographic Industry Partnership Programme.
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iXblue is a global high-tech company specialising in the design and manufacturing of advanced marine, photonics and autonomy technologies. The group in-house expertise includes innovative systems and solutions devoted to inertial navigation, subsea positioning, underwater imaging, as well as shipbuilding and test and simulation.
iXblue technologies support Civil and Defence customers in carrying out their sea, land and space operations with maximum safety, efficiency and reliability.