The Arafura, the Royal Australian Navy’s first Arafura Class offshore patrol vessel, was launched in Osborne having begun construction in 2018.
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The launch of the first of 12 Arafura OPVs was attended by the Governor of South Australia, Premier of South Australia, Minister for Defence and the Chief of the Royal Australian Navy.
The ship's construction began in 2018, with Lürssen Australia named as prime contractor for the SEA 1180 program in 2017.
According to defence, the Australian industry capability (AIC) percentage for the program was 63 per cent, with the prime contractor hoping to increasing the percentage to 65 per cent.
“This launch is an important moment in the life of Arafura and it is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the hard work and commitment of hundreds of people,” Jens Nielsen, chief executive of Lürssen Australia, said.
“Everyone who has worked on Arafura has a unique place in the Royal Australian Navy’s history and you should be proud of your achievements, thank you.
“Together we have built a formidable vessel for the Navy.
“I am proud of the high level of Australian industry content and the large number of close relationships we have forged with our partners, the Program Office and the broader defence community over the years.”
It is expected that two of the OPVs will be built in South Australia’s Osborne shipyard, with 10 built in Henderson, WA.
The 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. 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.
[Related: Defence opens Arafura OPV hub]