Offshore Patrol Vessels

SEA 1180 Phase 1 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) will replace and improve upon the capability delivered by the thirteen Armidale Class Patrol Boats, by acquiring 12 new vessels. The primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions and the OPV will be the primary ADF asset for maritime patrol and response duties. A Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP) commenced in late 2015 and concluded with the signing of a contract with Luerssen Australia on 31 January 2018.

A Request for Tender (RFT) was released to Fassmer, Damen and Luerssen on 30 November 2016. The Government announced Luerssen as the preferred tenderer on 24 November 2017. The first vessel (NUSHIP Arafura) commenced construction on 15 November 2018, with the second vessel commencing on 3 June 2019.


Achieved/ Forecast


Initial Pass


OPV Program was brought forward by two years with the commencement of the CEP.

Government First Pass Approval Achieved

April 2016

Government announced that construction of the OPV will begin in South Australian in 2018 and transition to Western Australian when the Future Frigate build commences. Three designers which were short listed being: - Damen of the Netherlands - Fassmer of Germany - Luerssen of Germany.

RFT Release / Close

November 2016 / March 2017

Evaluations completed

Government Second Pass (Gate Two) Approval

24 November 2017

Down-selection to one designer. Government Second Pass Approval achieved.

Contract Signature

31 January 2018

Contract signed with Luerssen Australia.

First OPV commenced construction

15 November 2018

Commencement of construction of first two OPVs at Osborne, South Australia.

3rd OPV Commences Construction

Q2 2020

Commencement of construction (OPVs 3 - 10) at the Henderson Shipyard Precinct, Western Australia.

First Vessel Delivery

Q4 2021


Australian businesses can register their interest in Defence shipbuilding programs by completing the Centre for Defence Industry Capability form.

Government Announcements

Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels | Department of Defence Ministers

OPV construction commences | Department of Defence Ministers

Win for workers as Offshore Patrol Vessel contract signed - 31 January 2018

Prime Minister, Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Industry - Hundreds of Australian jobs created in Offshore Patrol Vessel project - 25 November 2017

Offshore Patrol Vessels Request for Tender released - 30 November 2016

Minister for Defence Industry's opening speech at the Adelaide industry briefing - 31 October 2016

Continuous Naval Shipbuilding, Government First Pass for OPVs - 18 April 2016

Bringing forward the Offshore Patrol Vessel Program - 4 August 2015

Content is current as at July 2019.