The Australian Government’s $90 billion National Shipbuilding Program has reached another milestone with the ceremonial keel laying of the second Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) in Adelaide under Project SEA 1180 Phase 1. The keel laying is an important shipyard and naval tradition that brings good luck to the build of the ship and the life of the vessel by placing a coin under the keel. Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the keel laying reinforces the continued progress and ongoing success story of this Australian Government’s $90 billion continuous shipbuilding endeavour in Australia.
Over the past 10 months, Luerssen Australia alongside ASC Shipbuilding have contributed an enormous effort to build and commence consolidation of the keel blocks, which when complete, will be part of a 1,600 tonne ship. This project is estimated to create around 600 jobs involving more than 300 small and medium businesses, reinforcing the Australian Government’s commitment to maximising Australian industry involvement in our $90 billion shipbuilding program.The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN announced that the vessel will be commissioned as HMAS Eyre when it comes into operational service in early 2023.
The second Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), will be known as HMAS Eyre. Named for the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, bound by the Great Australian Bight to the west and Spencer Gulf to the East. The Peninsula was first charted by Lieutenant Matthew Flinders, RN and Nicolas Baudin from 1801 to 1802 and subsequently named after Edward John Eyre who explored the region from between 1839 to 1841. The twelve Australian vessels are based on the PV80 design with the first two vessels to be built at ASC’s Osborne ship yard in South Australia before production moves to Civmec’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.