May 10, 2018 – The first Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel has reached a significant milestone today with the ceremonial keel laying at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.
Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, RAN positioned a coin to commemorate the laying of the keel for the first vessel to be named Arafura.
“The keel laying ceremony represents a great naval tradition and I am honoured to be joined today by the two youngest shipbuilders in the Osborne shipyard in placing the commemorative coin under the keel,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
This project will see the delivery of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels to the Royal Australian Navy to replace the Armidale Class Patrol Boats.
The Arafura Class is named for the Arafura Sea between Australia and Indonesia, acknowledging the importance placed on the coastal regions around Australia and their significant role in the nation’s security and economic prosperity. The naming of the Arafura Class also honours the significance of Northern Australia’s waters to Australia’s maritime security and the importance of the continuing work of the Navy across the Top End.
“I would like to thank our defence industry counterparts and Defence’s Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group for their collective efforts to get us to this point on time and budget,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
Prime contractor Lurssen Australia along with shipbuilding sub-contractor ASC commenced construction of the first vessel on 15 November 2018.
The first ship will be launched in 2021, with the second ship to be launched from the Osborne shipyard in 2022.
Construction of the third vessel will commence in 2020 at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia, where the remaining 10 vessels will be constructed.