Arafura Class OPV

Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)
Type Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)
  • Maritime border patrol
  • Maritime constabulary roles including interdiction
  • Fisheries patrol
  • Humanitarian and disaster relief
Builder Luerssen Australia and Civmec (ASC Shipbuilding for OPV1 & OPV2)
Displacement 1640 tonnes
Length 80 metres
Beam 13 metres
Draught 4 metres
Propulsion 2 x 4250KW diesel engines
Speed 20 knots (maximum)
Range 4000 nautical miles
  • 2 x 8.5 metre Boomeranger FRB 850 RHIBs (crane-launched)
  • 1 x 10.5 metre Boomeranger C 1100 RHIB (stern-launched)
  • 25mm gun
  • 2 x 50 calibre machine guns
Company 40 crew with accommodation for up to 60 personnel
News Articles Defence News

Australia’s current Armidale Class and Cape Class Patrol Boats are planned to be replaced with a single class of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), under Project SEA 1180 Phase 1. The ships are under construction in Australia by German shipbuilder, Lürssen's subsidiary, Luerssen Australia partnering with ASC OPV Shipbuilder for construction of the first 2 OPVs in South Australia and Civmec Construction for the remaining 10 in Western Australia.

The 12 Australian vessels are based on the PV80 design with the first two vessels to be built at Osborne Shipyard in South Australia before production moves to Henderson Shipyard in Western Australia.

The primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties. State of the art sensors as well as command and communication systems will allow the OPVs to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels, other Australian Defence Force units and other regional partners.

The OPV design will support specialist mission packages, such as a maritime tactical unmanned aerial system, and into the future, rapid environmental assessment and deployable mine counter measure capabilities.

On 15 November 2018, then Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, announced that the OPVs would be known as the Arafura Class. The lead vessel, HMAS Arafura is planned to enter service in 2023.

During the ceremonial keel laying for the second Arafura class OPV held at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide on 9 April 2020, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, announced the names of the next five vessels. Upon commissioning, OPV2 will be HMAS Eyre, OPV3 will be HMAS Pilbara, OPV4 will be HMAS Gippsland, OPV5 will be HMAS Illawarra, and OPV6 will be HMAS Carpentaria. The names of the other OPV vessels will be announced at a later date.

Arafura Class OPV infographic
Arafura Class OPV infographic