Defence Minister announces commencement of OPV construction

Defence Minister announces commencement of OPV construction
Minister for Defence, The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP and Minister for Finance and the Public Service Sen. The Hon. Matthias Cormann announced the Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel construction has commenced at Osborne in South Australia.

Construction commenced on the 15th of November.

Minister Pyne stated the multi-billion dollar project will see a delivery of 12 OPVs, creating 1000 direct and indirect jobs.

“These new vessels are being built in Australian facilities, with Australian steel, and by Australian workers,” Minister Pyne said in a press release.

“Only a year ago we announced Luerssen was the preferred tenderer.”

“It’s a fantastic achievement to start construction on time and on budget and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the project.”

The SEA 1180 Phase 1 OPVs are to replace the aging 13 Armidale Class Patrol Boats. The primary role of the vessels will be to undertake law enforcement missions including front-line maritime patrol and response duties.

The SEA 1180 OPV project is part of the Federal Government’s $90 billion continuous naval shipbuilding program and is one of the largest capital investments in Australian industrial history.

“This investment is about more than building ships, submarines and shipyards because it will establish an Australian sovereign capability.”

“The continuous shipbuilding program will act as a catalyst for industry growth which will secure thousands of Australian jobs for decades.”

“This is truly a national endeavour, with the Federal Government laying the foundations for an Australia-wide sovereign naval shipbuilding enterprise.”

ASC Shipbuilding will build two of the 12 OPA vessels in Osborne. Production will then shift to Civmec in Henderson, Western Australia. An $85 million facility is under construction to house the shipbuilding operations, with all deliverables due by 2020.

The Government emphasises that all ships will be built using Australian steel. The Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison MP made the first cut of steel on the 26th of September.
ASC shipbuilding capacity has seen growth, with Defence initiating the Air Warfare Destroyer reform program in 2014 with the company.

“Over the past few years ASC has demonstrated its capacity to deliver high quality vessels for the Royal Australian Navy,” Sen. Cormann stated.

“ASC’s workforce has already delivered two state-of-the-art Air Warfare Destroyers, with a third due next year. They are also exceeding their performance benchmarks in support of our Collins Class submarine fleet.

“We look forward to ASC continuing their strong work on [these] first two Offshore Patrol Vessels.]”