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Arafura OPV program strengthens Australian industry foundations

Australian industry foundations

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have announced the selection of Raytheon Australia as a new capability life cycle manager for the Royal Australian Navy’s Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels (OPV).

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have announced the selection of Raytheon Australia as a new capability life cycle manager for the Royal Australian Navy’s Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels (OPV).

Raytheon Australia has been selected to initially help support the transition into service for the OPVs, while setting the foundations for through-life asset management, the first two Arafura Class vessels are currently under construction at Osborne in South Australia, while the remaining 10 vessels will be built at Henderson in Western Australia.


Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said this was a significant step in the development of a dynamic local industry model to manage Navy’s continuous shipbuilding program.

"Today’s announcement is all about jobs and backing Australian industry as the economy continues to recover from COVID-19. Capability life cycle managers will drive and maximise opportunities for Australian workforce and Australian industry in the delivery of services under the new contract, making domestic sourcing recommendations and promoting Australian industry development," Minister Reynolds explained. 

Adding to this, Minister Reynolds said, "As the capability life cycle manager for OPV, Raytheon Australia will work hand in hand with the Henderson-based OPV Systems Program Office and the shipbuilding team, ship designer and a network of regional maintenance providers at OPV homeports to deliver an effective transition into service and through-life support arrangements."

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Australian businesses in Cairns and Darwin would substantially benefit from the Morrison government’s investment in the years ahead. 

"Cairns and Darwin are booming defence industry hubs and will play a critical role in the maintenance of these vessels that will keep Australia’s borders safe. This program will deliver new opportunities for Australian businesses across the north of Australia, creating Aussie jobs and delivering investment in local economies," Minister Price said. 


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).

Arafura OPV program strengthens Australian industry foundations
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