Australia’s current Armidale Class and Cape Class Patrol Boats will be replaced with a single class of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), under Project SEA 1180 Phase 1. The 12 Australian vessels are based on the PV80 design.
The first two ships are under construction in South Australia by German shipbuilder, Lüerssen Australia, partnering with Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) OPV Shipbuilder. The remaining 10 will be built in Western Australia by Lüerssen Australia and Civmec Construction.
The OPV design will support specialist mission packages, such as a maritime tactical unmanned aerial system, and into the future, rapid environmental assessment and deployable mine counter measure capabilities.
The primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels, and other Australian Defence Force units and regional partners
On 15 November 2018, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, announced that the OPVs would be known as the Arafura Class. The lead vessel, HMAS Arafura is planned to enter service in 2023.
During the ceremonial keel laying for the second Arafura class OPV on 9 April 2020, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, announced the names of the next five vessels. Upon commissioning, OPV2 will be HMAS Eyre, OPV3 will be HMAS Pilbara, OPV4 will be HMAS Gippsland, OPV5 will be HMAS Illawarra, and OPV6 will be HMAS Carpentaria. The names of the other OPV vessels will be announced at a later date.
|Arafura Class (OPV)
|Luerssen Australia and Civmec (ASC Shipbuilding for OPV1 & OPV2)
|2 x 4250KW diesel engines
|20 knots (maximum)
|4000 nautical miles
|40 crew with accommodation for up to 60 personnel
Offshore patrol vessel