Arafura class offshore patrol vessels

The build program for Australia’s new fleet of Arafura class offshore patrol vessels will commence in 2018 at the nation’s world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard, located in Adelaide.

The OPVs are an important first step in Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy, with construction commencing in Adelaide, before transferring to Western Australia when the Hunter class frigate program begins in South Australia in 2020.

With the AWD program completed, building the OPVs at Osborne Naval Shipyard will ensure our shipbuilding workforce and infrastructure remain engaged until the Hunter class frigate build starts.

Following a competitive evaluation process, the Australian Government selected Lurssen of Germany as the successful designer of the OPVs. Lurssen will partner with Adelaide-based ASC to build the first two OPVs and Perth-based Austal and Civmec to construct the remaining 10 new vessels.   

The program is estimated at around $4 billion and will create more than 400 jobs, plus additional supply chain opportunities for South Australian businesses.

Adelaide-based Saab Australia was selected to provide the combat management system on the OPVs, creating hundreds of high-tech defence jobs.

Twelve vessels will be built in total to replace the 13 existing Armidale Class patrol boats. The OPVs will enhance the Australian Defence Forces' capacity to support border security, maritime resource protection and military patrol and response operations.

For further information please direct all enquiries to David Eyre, Director Maritime, Defence SA. Tel: +61 8 8463 7161 or