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.
27 July 2018, Osborne Naval Shipyard: The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance celebrated the Government’s acceptance of the second destroyer, NUSHIP Brisbane at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.
NUSHIP Brisbane is the second of three destroyers being built and integrated by the AWD Alliance, comprised of the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia and ASC Shipbuilding with support from Navantia Australia. In the coming months, NUSHIP Brisbane will sail from Adelaide to Sydney where she will be commissioned into service by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The successful delivery of both HMAS Hobart and NUSHIP Brisbane is a further demonstration of the truly sovereign and unique shipbuilding and systems integration capability that the AWD program has built for Australia.
«The AWD program has proven that Australia is able to build and integrate ships from the ground up – evolving our understanding as we go, and generating further improvements along the way», said AWD Alliance General Manager, Paul Evans. «We have implemented learnings from ship to ship in order to deliver better outcomes, faster outcomes, create more skills, more efficiency and ultimately deliver a better capability».
«The complexity of this project is reflected in the sophistication of the Air Warfare Destroyers which are providing a step-change in capability for the Australian Defence Force», Director General Naval Construction Branch, Commodore (CDRE) Steve Tiffen said.
«As the most lethal warships Australia has ever possessed, all three destroyers feature an advanced anti-submarine warfare capability, state-of-the-art radar technology and an air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at an extended range», said CDRE Tiffen.
Raytheon Australia Managing Director, Michael Ward said that the company is extremely proud to be part of the team that is delivering the Hobart class AWDs to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
«Today, in conjunction with our AWD Alliance partners we take great pride in delivering the second AWD, NUSHIP Brisbane, to Defence. The delivery of this ship signifies a decade of collaboration between Defence and industry, and further demonstrates all that can be achieved when we work together to deliver complex Australian defence capabilities», said Mr. Ward.
«Together we have delivered two warships equipped with a powerful, integrated combat system, making them the most advanced warships ever operated by the RAN. This Australian combat system is the result of millions of hours of effort from our highly skilled Adelaide workforce, which includes more than 350 combat systems integrators, engineers and program managers as well as the 500 combat systems suppliers who have directly contributed to the AWD program. The AWD program’s combat systems integration activities represent some of the most advanced engineering and project management skills in this country. Through our work to deliver the AWD combat system on time and to budget, we have ultimately created a unique combat systems integration capability for Australia», said Mr. Ward.
ASC Shipbuilding Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jim Cuthill said, «With the Commonwealth’s acceptance of the second AWD NUSHIP Brisbane, we have demonstrated the quality of our product and confirmed our place as the builder of the most capable class of warships ever produced in Australia».
«Our extraordinary team at ASC Shipbuilding has successfully produced one of Australia’s most complex naval vessels and has done Australia and Australians proud. What we are achieving here puts us amongst the global leaders in this specialist field», said Mr. Cuthill.
For Navantia Australia chairman, Mr. Warren King, the delivery of NUSHIP Brisbane is a source of immense pride for Navantia Australia in collaboration with the AWD Alliance. «This achievement not only marks another significant milestone in the AWD program, but also for the Australian shipbuilding industry and Australian capability. We look forward to seeing NUSHIP Brisbane join her sister ship HMAS Hobart in service with the Royal Australian Navy in the near future».
481.3 feet/146.7 m
61 feet/18.6 m
23.6 feet/7.2 m
Full load displacement
36 MW/48,276 hp
28+ knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 18+ knots/21 mph/33 km/h
5,000+ NM/5,779 miles/9,300 km
Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1
AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radar (81 NM/93 miles/150 km)