Lürssen Wins Australian Offshore Patrol Vessel Contract
Australia's Federal Government has announced that German shipbuilder Lürssen will be awarded the A$3.5 billion ($2.7 billion) contract to deliver the Royal Australian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).
The Government has indicated that Lürssen will use Austal and Civmec to build the 10 OPVs designated to be built in Henderson, Western Australia, subject to the conclusion of commercial negotiations, expected to take place over the coming months.
The OPV program will see 12 vessels built in total, with the first two being constructed in Adelaide by ASC. The appointment of Lürssen means Austal will break ties with its bid partner, European shipbuilder Fassmer. Civmec and ASC had teamed up with both Lürssen and Dutch bidder Damen.
First steel is expected to be cut in Adelaide at the end of 2018 and in Henderson by June 2020.
As detailed in the 2016 Defence White Paper, the Government is undergoing its largest regeneration of naval capability since the Second World War. The new OPV fleet will conduct intelligence and surveillance missions, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and border protection patrols. The 80-meter (260-foot) ships will be larger and more capable than Australia's current Armidale-class vessels.
Austal CEO David Singleton said that the OPV program would be a further and important addition to the A$2.5 billion of work Austal has won in the past 18 months, including an unprecedented run of orders for its commercial high-speed ferry business.