Two mega-blocks weighing 1,000 tonnes in total have been joined, forming the complete hull of the first Arafura offshore patrol vessel, in the “largest industrial manoeuvre” at South Australia’s Osborne Naval Shipyard.
The ship is the first of a dozen OPVs being built for the federal government under the $3.6 billion program, with the prime contractor Luerssen Australia. The first two are being constructed at Osborne, with the next ten built at Henderson in West Australia by Luerssen and Civmec.
The Australian Naval Infrastructure (ANI) operations team formed the hull (see video) and had recently undertook “significant expansion and modernisation” of the Osborne Naval Shipyard, said the federal government.
Defence minister Linda Reynolds said in a statement that, “It is a source of great pride to see a unified purpose among industry partners Luerssen, ASC and ANI, with defence industry continuing to show resilience to deliver during these challenging times.”
The dozen new ships will replace the Armidale Class and Cape Class Patrol boats.
Picture: Defence/Arfura Class
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