On November 24th the Turnbull Government’s decision regarding the design and build of Australia’s Offshore Patrol Vessels was announced.
The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) project, which is worth up to $4 billion, is to be delivered by Australian workers, in Australian shipyards using Australian steel by Civmec and Austal. The design of the vessels was awarded to German shipbuilder, Lürssen.
The OPVs have an important role protecting our borders and providing greater range and endurance than the existing patrol boat fleet. The investment in new naval capabilities such as the OPVs is a key part of the Turnbull Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.
As detailed in the 2016 Defence White Paper, the Government is undergoing its largest regeneration of naval capability since the Second World War. The OPVs will allow the Navy to undertake more extensive operations and protect resources over greater distances and in more complex maritime environments.
The Navy’s OPVs, of Lürssen design, will utilise ASC Shipbuilding in Adelaide for the construction of the first two ships. The project will then transfer to the Henderson Maritime Precinct in WA where Lürssen will use the capabilities of Austal and Civmec to build ten OPVs, subject to the conclusion of commercial negotiations.
The first of the 12 OPVs will commence production in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Turnbull Government's investment in continuous shipbuilding will guarantee our maritime capabilities will be more flexible and versatile than ever.
Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia has welcomed the Federal Government's announcement that 10 of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels to be built for the Royal Australian Navy will be constructed in Henderson, south of Perth.
The project is expected to create up to 400 direct jobs, and 600 indirect positions for Western Australia.
The Minister said: "This announcement provides some confidence for the local shipbuilding industry, which can commence establishing supply chains. We also look forward to continuing discussions with Lürssen about its proposal to develop a regional shipbuilding hub in WA to capture the significant opportunities emerging in the Asia-Pacific."
For further information on Western Australia's defence industry please take a look at the Defence page on our website.