The Royal Australian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels will be named the Arafura class, with the first ship entering service in 2022 being named HMAS Arafura.
Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, welcomed the announcement of the name Arafura, reflecting the strong connection between the Navy and the maritime waters it patrols.
“Assigning a name to a warship is a significant milestone in the introduction of a new capability,” Minister Pyne said.
“This is the first time the Australian Navy has used the name Arafura and represents a new generation of naval operations.”
The naming of ships and units is one of the greatest honours any navy bestows.
“A vessel’s service to our nation and the deeds of its ship’s company throughout its life are recorded and remembered by the name under which it commissions,” Minister Pyne said.
“Named for the Arafura Sea, the name recognises the prominence of Navy’s enduring operations in the northern approaches to Australia to protect our national interests, natural resources and maritime borders.
“The name Arafura will imbue all Navy members who sail in the OPVs with a sense of pride for the waters and country they protect.
“The Arafura Sea stretches from Cape York in the east to Cape Don in the west and encapsulates the importance of the seas surrounding the Australian continent and our connections with our immediate neighbours, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
“The name honours the significance of the nation’s connection to the sea and those Australian waters in which our nation’s maritime security and economic prosperity depend. It reflects Navy’s continuing work across the Top End.”