Watch: Australian OPV Blocks Joined Together

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The two halves of Australia’s first Arafura Class OPV have been brought together to form a complete hull by builders Luerssen Australia and ASC. It was the largest industrial maneuver that has ever been conducted at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. The two blocks, weighing 1,000 tonnes in total, were maneuvered into place millimeters apart. The first of the OPVs, HMAS Arafura, is planned to enter service from the early 2020’s and will conduct border protection and maritime patrol missions. The program of 12 vessels will replace and improve upon the capability delivered by the Armidale Class and Cape Class Patrol Boats. The first two vessels are under construction at Osborne in South Australia and the remaining 10 vessels to be built at Henderson in Western Australia. Luerssen Australia is the prime contractor working with key shipbuilding partners ASC in South Australia and Civmec in Western Australia. 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. Arafura details:  Displacement: 1,640 tonnes Length: 80 meters Beam: 13 meters Draft: 4 meters Propulsion: 2 x 4250KW diesel engines Speed: 20 knots (maximum) Range: 4,000 nautical miles Boats     2 x 8.5 metre Boomeranger FRB 850 RHIBs (davit-launched) 1 x 10.5 metre Boomeranger C 1100 RHIB (stern-launched) Weapons     40mm gun 2 x 50 calibre machine guns Company: 40 crew with accommodation for up to 60 personnel