- Australia has marked further progress in its Sea 1180 programme with the naming of its new OPV class and the start of steel welding on the first of class
- The programme’s first of class is expected to be delivered by 2021
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has named the offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) that have been acquired under the country’s Sea 1180 Phase 1 programme as the Arafura class.
The name was revealed on 15 November by the service’s chief, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan. Named after a sea in the northern approach to Australia, the Arafura class has been acquired to replace the RAN’s fleet of Armidale- and Cape-class patrol boats, Huon-class minehunters, and Leeuwin- and Paluma-class survey vessels.
The vessel has a standard displacement of 1,640 tonnes, with an overall length of 80 m, an overall beam of 13 m, and a hull draught of 4 m. It can take a crew complement of 40, with accommodation for up to 60 personnel.
Powered by two 8,500 kW diesel engines, the OPV can attain a maximum speed of 20 kt and a standard range of 4,000 n miles at 12 kt. It has been equipped with a flight deck for unmanned aerial system (UAS) operations, and can carry two 8.5 m and one 10.5 m rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) for maritime interdiction operations.
Each OPV will be armed with a 40 mm naval gun in the primary position and two 12.7 mm machine guns, while the suite of sensors includes the Scanter 6002 air and surface surveillance radar system from Terma, which will be incorporated with the EOS 500 electro-optical fire-control director.
The vessel will also be equipped with a 9LV-based Situational Awareness System (SAS) from Saab Australia.
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