SENATOR THE HON DAVID FAWCETT
Assistant Minister for Defence
Senator for South Australia
HON CHRISTOPHER PYNE MP
Minister for Defence
SENATOR THE HON LINDA REYNOLDS
Minister for Defence Industry
Historic OPV Keel Laying Ceremony
An historic keel laying ceremony has been held for Australia’s first Arafura class offshore patrol vessel.
We are honoured to attend this significant event which shows the project is on time and on budget.
Congratulations to everyone involved in meeting this key milestone after construction started in November last year.
This project is part of the Morrison Government’s ambitious $90 billion continuous naval shipbuilding program consisting of 57 vessels.
Local companies are proving they are world class.
These new OPVs are being built in Australian facilities, with Australian steel, and by Australian workers.
The first two OPVs are being built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia by ASC and Luerssen Australia
During the traditional keel laying ceremony a ceremonial coin is placed underneath the keel to bring good luck to the ship.
In February the OPV keel reached the construction milestone with sufficient structural integrity after more than 50 tonnes of structural steel was assembled.
This was considered the birth of the vessel with this date being when the vessel’s date of compliance to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations was established.
The $3.6 billion project will deliver 12 Arafura class OPVs to replace the Armidale and Cape class patrol boats.
The first vessel will be known as HMAS Arafura.
The OPVs will have greater range and endurance than the existing patrol boat fleet and will undertake constabulary missions, maritime patrols and response duties.