Patrol vessels are new defence ‘project of concern’

The construction of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Royal Australian Navy by Luerssen Australia is the latest to be listed a Defence Project of Concern by the federal government.

The construction of Arafura-class OPVs has experienced delays in delivery of both the vessels and the associated support system, with schedule delays first emerging in 2021.

The first two vessels are being built for the Royal Australian Navy to replace Armidale class patrol boats at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. The remaining 10 are being constructed at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia.

The primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions and maritime patrol – though their relative lack of offensive firepower has been roundly criticised by commentators in light of the recent Defence Strategic Review.

Defence and Luerssen Australia remain committed to the project and will work together to develop a remediation plan to help address delays to the OPV schedule, according to a statement.

The Projects of Concern process brings senior stakeholders from Government and industry together to set out an agreed pathway to remediate listed projects.

Picture: Luerssen Australia

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