In an exciting development for the Royal Australian Navy Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Program, crew training has kicked off. Over the past three years, Luerssen Australia in conjunction with the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and the Royal Australian Navy has analysed and designed a specific training package to prepare incoming OPV crews. The training is a consolidation of instructor led and student self-paced learning and provides a realistic environment via 3D simulation to prepare sailors and officers to operate the OPVs. The crew are able to immerse themselves in a fully rendered 3D environment which will allow them to familiarise themselves with the individual compartments, rooms and equipment prior to boarding the vessel for the first time in real life.
The training will be delivered at the OPV Training Centre at HMAS Stirling on Garden Island and it is expected to take approximately six months for each crew. All crew posted to an OPV will undertake the familiarisation course, as well as a variety of operator and maintainer courses depending on their role. Luerssen Australia’s dedicated Training Team will deliver the courses, many of whom are Navy veterans who bring years of experience to help gear up the next generation. Luerssen Australia is employing Australian workers, in Australian shipyards, using Australian steel to provide the Royal Australian Navy with the Australian made vessels it needs for the future.
Luerssen Australia Chief Executive Officer, Jens Nielsen, said,” this is an important milestone and is proud to be helping the first crew get ready to deploy. “The commencement of OPV crew training is another critical achievement in Luerssen. Australia’s delivery of the Arafura OPV Program. This training once again shows Luerssen Australia is committed to delivering the Navy the capability it needs as soon as possible. The first OPV, NUSHIP Arafura, was launched in December last year, and we have four other vessels under construction in South Australia and Western Australia. Luerssen Australia has a long-term strategy for building and sustaining minor warships and
large vessels in Henderson”
The Arafura class is a class of offshore patrol vessels being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Initially proposed in the 2009 Defence White Paper and marked as procurement project SEA 1180, it was originally planned that 20 Offshore Combatant Vessels (OCV) would replace 26 vessels across four separate ship classes: the Armidale-class patrol boats, the Huon-class minehunters, the Leeuwin-class survey vessels, and the Paluma-class survey motor launches. The Arafura-class is based on the Lürssen-designed Darussalam-class, operated by the Royal Brunei Navy. Each vessel has a gross displacement of 1,640 tonnes, and measures 80 metres (260 ft) long, with a beam of 13 metres (43 ft) and a draft of 4 metres (13 ft). Propulsion power is from two MTU 16V diesel engines rated at 4,440 kilowatts (5,950 hp) each, which drive variable pitch propellers and give a top speed of 22 knots (25 mph), and shipboard electrical power is generated by MAN diesel engines. Shipboard armament was originally intended to be a single 40 mm gun and two 12.7 mm guns.