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Navy’s second Arafura Class OPV launched

The Royal Australian Navy’s second Arafura Class offshore patrol vessel, NUSHIP Eyre, has officially been launched at the South Australian Osborne Naval Shipyard.

The Royal Australian Navy’s second Arafura Class offshore patrol vessel, NUSHIP Eyre, has officially been launched at the South Australian Osborne Naval Shipyard.

In a major milestone for the embattled multi-billion-dollar SEA 1180 program, the Royal Australian Navy has welcomed the launch of the second Arafura Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) currently being built by Luerssen Australia, in collaboration with local defence industry partners.

Named for the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, the OPV will be the first Royal Australian Navy ship to carry the name Eyre. NUSHIP Eyre is the second of two OPVs to be constructed at the Osborne Naval Shipyard and follows the launch of NUSHIP Arafura in December 2021.


Head Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Stephen Hughes, Royal Australian Navy, congratulated the defence industry workforce responsible for delivering NUSHIP Eyre, saying, “On behalf of the Chief of Navy, and the sailors and officers of the Royal Australian Navy, I congratulate the defence industry workforce at Osborne on the launch of Australia’s second OPV, NUSHIP Eyre.”

The Arafura Class OPVs are intended to replace the Armidale Class patrol boats and have been designed to perform maritime patrol and response duties for the Australian Defence Force.

“We look forward to accepting Eyre into service and thank the many skilled shipbuilders who contribute to ensuring the RAN continues to operate capable warships of the highest quality,” RADM Hughes added.

Deputy Secretary Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Jim McDowell expanded on the comments made by RADM Hughes, saying, “The launch of NUSHIP Eyre is a significant milestone for the Arafura Class OPV program, made possible by the commitment and cooperation [of] everyone here at the Osborne Naval Shipyard.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with Luerssen Australia to deliver these Arafura vessels," McDowell added.

Luerssen Australia chief executive officer Jens Nielsen said the launch of the vessel is a testament to the hard work and cooperation of everyone at Osborne Naval Shipyard.

“We would not be launching this ship without the commitment and passion from our production and shipbuilding teams, including the naval construction branch and Navy,” Nielsen said.

SEA 1180 Phase 1 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) will replace and improve upon the capability delivered by the 13 Armidale Class patrol boats by acquiring 12 new vessels. 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 Luerssen Australia on 31 January 2018. The remaining vessels will be built by Luerssen Australia at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia.

Luerssen Australia is the prime contractor working with key shipbuilding partners Civmec in Western Australia and ASC in South Australia to deliver the OPV capability for the Royal Australian Navy.

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