The Marshall Liberal Government has welcomed another massive defence boost to South Australia, with today’s launch (December 16, 2021) of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), HMAS Arafura (OPV-203).
The HMAS Arafura (OPV-203) is the first of two new Arafura Class OPVs being constructed in South Australia by Lürssen Australia at the world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard, creating hundreds of direct local jobs through a build program worth $4 billion.
Premier Steven Marshall said today’s milestone reinforces South Australia’s reputation as the defence and space capital of the nation.
«Today is a significant milestone for the OPV program and an important step in Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program», said the Premier. «We are the defence and space capital of the nation, and this build is creating hundreds of jobs and providing a massive economic boost to our state. South Australia has well and truly cemented its position as the defence and space capital of the country and will continue to power forward and play its part in building and sustaining the nation’s sovereign capabilities. Work on these projects will deliver thousands of jobs in the decades to come, ensuring current and future talent can forge lifelong careers in naval shipbuilding, right here in South Australia».
The OPV program is part of a major expansion of the nation’s naval capabilities being spearheaded in South Australia, which includes delivery of the first two OPVs; a fleet of nine Hunter class frigates; up to eight nuclear-powered submarines; as well as the full cycle docking and life-of-type extension of the Collins class submarines and a major upgrade of the Hobart class destroyers’ combat management system.
This continuous pipeline of projects is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a sustainable supplier base for Australia and develop the skilled and technical workforce required to deliver these complex Defence projects.
Construction of HMAS Arafura (OPV-203) commenced in 2018, with the vessel scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in 2022.