Australia signs offshore patrol vessel construction contract with Lürssen

Lürssen photo of its OPV80 design

The Australian government on January 31 announced it signed the patrol vessel construction contract with German shipbuilder Lürssen.

Australian defense industry minster Christopher Pyne said the contract with Lürssen to lead the design and build is worth at least $3 billion for 12 OPVs.

“The vessels will be delivered by Australian workers, in Australian shipyards using Australian steel,” Pyne said. “The project will create around 1000 jobs – 400 direct and a further 600 in the supply chain.”

The OPV project will also help preserve and enhance shipbuilding skills required for the Future Frigates.

The first two OPVs will be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia starting this year and 10 will be constructed at the Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia from 2020.

Lürssen will sub contract ASC to build the first two ships in SA and are in negotiations with Austal and Civmec to build the 10 ships in WA.

Civmec will provide the steel from Australian suppliers for all 12 OPVs.

The new Australian OPVs will be 80 meters in length with a displacement of 1700 tonnes and a draught of 4 meters.

The vessels will be fitted with a 40mm gun for self-protection, three 8.4m sea boats, and command and communication systems. This will allow the OPVs to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels and other Australian Defence Force units.

The vessels will accommodate up to 60 personnel, including a crew of around 40 navy personnel and have the ability to accept modular mission packs such as unmanned aerial systems.

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