Launch of the first Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Defence

The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

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Nicole Chant (Minister Dutton's office): 0419 850 222

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16 December 2021

Joint Media Release: 

  • The Honourable Melissa Price MP, Minister for Defence Industry, Minister for Science and Technology

Arafura class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), NUSHIP Arafura, was launched today at the
Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia – the first in a fleet of 12 OPVs being built for the
Royal Australian Navy to replace the Armidale and Cape class patrol boats.

Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP said the launch of NUSHIP Arafura was a step
forward in protecting Australian borders and offshore interests, providing increased
maritime patrol and response capability and interoperability with Australian vessels and
regional partners.

“The Arafura class OPVs represent the future of Australia’s border protection and will be the
primary asset for maritime patrol and response duties,” Minister Dutton said.
“Our commitment to a secure, stable and prosperous region will be bolstered by the
introduction of these vessels, with state of the art sensors and command and
communications systems.

“The build of the Arafura class OPVs is a cornerstone of the Australian Government’s Naval
Shipbuilding Plan, which will employ 15,000 workers across the country by 2030.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the launch of the first Arafura class OPV was
a significant milestone in the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

“We are committed to a sovereign continuous naval shipbuilding program and I
congratulate Australian industry and the workforce involved in building NUSHIP Arafura,”
Minister Price said.

“It is a demonstration of Australia’s continued strengthening of our defence capability and
represents a $4.7 billion investment in our defence industry.

“Australian industry is building all 12 vessels here in Australia and will continue to sustain
them over their lifecycle, delivering long-term local jobs.”

The first two OPVs are being constructed by Luerssen Australia at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, setting the foundation for continuous shipbuilding before the Hunter Class frigate program progresses through prototyping to construction.
The 10 remaining OPVs will be built by Luerssen Australia at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia.

For more information on the Arafura OPV visit:

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