The first Arafura class Offshore Patrol Vessel had its keel laid at a ceremony Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide on May 10.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief of Navy, VADM Mike Noonan who placed a coin in the keel along with the two youngest members of the build program. The ceremonial keel laying comes after production of hull blocks commenced late last year.
“The keel laying ceremony represents a great naval tradition and I am honoured to be joined today by the two youngest shipbuilders in the Osborne shipyard in placing the commemorative coin under the keel,” VADM Noonan said in a statement. “I would like to thank our defence industry counterparts and Defence’s Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group for their collective efforts to get us to this point on time and budget.”
The first two of the planned 12 SEA 1180 OPVs are being built by prime contractor Luerssen in Adelaide and launched in 2021 and 2022, before production switches to the Henderson Maritime Precinct near Fremantle in Western Australia to make way for the SEA 5000 future frigate program in Adelaide. Production of the third vessel will commence at Henderson in 2020.