The much awaited announcement for the replacement to the current Armidale Class patrol boats was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Russell Offices in Canberra on 24 November 2017.
Lürssen was named as the prime contractor for the 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) with the Australian PV80 variant. It will be 80 meters/262.5 feet in length with a displacement of 1700 tonnes and a draught of 4 meters/13 feet.
The vessels will be fitted with a 40-mm gun for self-protection, three 8.4 m/27.5 feet sea boats, state of the art sensors as well as command and communication systems. This will allow the OPVs to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels, other Australian Defence Force units and our regional partners.
The vessels will accommodate up to 60 personnel, including a crew of around 40 Navy personnel and have the ability to accept modular mission packs such as unmanned aerial systems.
At the launch the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, said the Lürssen ship will meet the Navy’s needs.
«The new OPV will go further and will be able to be at for sea longer than our current Patrol Boat fleet», Vice Admiral Barrett said. «It will achieve the task that we have already been doing successfully, even better. The decision has been made with the team we acknowledged today and our role is to now deliver on the decision. Now let’s get on with it».
The first ship is due to enter service in 2021.