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Shipbuilders commence construction of fourth Arafura class

Luerssen Australia and Civmec have celebrated the commencement of construction and welding of steel for the fourth of 12 OPVs for the Royal Australian Navy SEA 1180 Program in Henderson, Western Australia.

Luerssen Australia and Civmec have celebrated the commencement of construction and welding of steel for the fourth of 12 OPVs for the Royal Australian Navy SEA 1180 Program in Henderson, Western Australia.

Luerssen Australia is partnering with Civmec in Henderson, Western Australia to build 10 OPVs, the first two OPVs are currently under construction by ASC in Osborne, South Australia.


Luerssen Australia chairman Tim Wagner said it was a great honour to be responsible for the delivery of the SEA 1180 Program and to be partnering with great Australian companies.

“This is a momentous day for both Luerssen Australian and Australia’s naval shipbuilding sector; a partnership with the Australian government and local industry that points to a bright future. We are proud to be part of this nation’s shipbuilding capacity, and to ensure that Luerssen design and technology can be married with the best of Australian industry capability,” Wagner said.

Luerssen Australia chief executive officer Jens Nielsen said the SEA 1180 Program forms part of the Australian government’s continuous national shipbuilding program and Luerssen Australia is committed to further develop Australia’s sovereign capability through its supply chain.

Civmec chairman James Fitzgerald said the incredibly skilled workforce is already at work and looks forward to completing the OPVs through the partnership with Luerssen Australia and the Australian government.

“Together with Civmec, we take seriously our responsibility to deliver the 12 superior vessels to the Royal Australian Navy. Today’s milestone, is another reminder that the construction of the Arafura Class represents an opportunity for Australia’s defence industry,” Nielsen 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.

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 Luerssen Australia. It is estimated the $3.6 billion SEA 1180 project will create around 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Luerssen is a global leader in designing and building ships of the highest quality for 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, Western Australia, Civmec has regional offices in Broome (WA), Darwin (Northern Territory), Newcastle and Sydney (NSW), and Gladstone (Queensland).

Shipbuilders commence construction of fourth Arafura class
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