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Thursday, March 11, 2021 10:05 AM | Jack Cameron (Administrator)

Defence opens Arafura OPV hub


08 MARCH 2021 By: Charbel Kadib

A new facility has been launched at the Henderson maritime precinct, established to foster collaboration between government and industry in support of the Arafura Class OPV program.

Secretary of Defence Greg Moriarty and a contingent of senior Defence officials have launched the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Enterprise and opened the OPV System Program Office at the Henderson maritime precinct.

The OPV Enterprise has been set up to house collaboration between Commonwealth and defence industry stakeholders in support the development and sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy’s new Arafura Class vessels.

“It is great to see the co-location of Commonwealth shipbuilding and sustainment personnel and Lürssen, CIVMEC and Raytheon industry partners delivering outcomes for our Navy,” deputy secretary National Naval Shipbuilding Tony Dalton said.

Head Maritime Systems, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, said the Enterprise would help achieve objectives outlined in the Continuous Shipbuilding Plan, which includes Plan Galileo — an ambitious Future Maritime Sustainment Model aimed at ensuring sustainment groups engage with acquisition teams in the early stages of the build process.

“Evolution of our asset management, supply chain, infrastructure, improved commercial models and professionalisation across the enterprise will be key to success,” RADM Malcolm said. 

“This process ensures sustainment needs are considered during the design phase, and brings together Defence, primes, small business and service providers to facilitate sustainment of our naval vessels from strategically located ports around the country. 

“Not only does this promise to deliver long-term jobs to West Australians and confidence for industry to invest in Perth, but it will ensure our Navy is able to meet all government tasking in order to protect our nation’s security.”

The Arafura Class OPVs are set to replace the Armidale and Cape Class patrol boats, and are expected to serve as the Australian Defence Force’s primary asset for maritime patrol and response duties, which are expected to largely involve constabulary missions.

The first two Arafura OPVs are being constructed in South Australia, with the remaining 10 vessels to be built in Western Australia.

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