Austal, Luerssen to build Australian OPVs

German shipbuilder Luerssen will be awarded the prime contract to deliver the Royal Australian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), partnering with Austal to build 10 of 12 in Western Australia.

The vessels will be built in Henderson, subject to the conclusion of commercial negotiations. Contract negotiations are expected to take place over the coming months, following which the overall impact of this program can be outlined to shareholders.

In total, the OPV program will see 12 vessels built, with the first two being constructed in Adelaide by ASC.

Austal CEO David Singleton said that the OPV program would be a further and important addition to the $2.5 billion of work Austal has won in the past 18 months, including an unprecedented run of orders for its commercial high-speed ferry business.

“I congratulate Luerssen on being selected for the OPV and Austal looks forward to establishing a long and productive future working together,” Singleton said.

“This important program will not only deliver new capability for the Navy but will continue to build the industrial base in Australia in line with the Government’s stated intent.

“As I have said many times, the OPV program is very important for our Henderson workforce and we welcome the fact that our employees will have an opportunity to build these vessels.”

Austal chairman John Rothwell also commended the Federal Government on its vision for the naval shipbuilding industry.

“I am especially pleased the Government has selected Western Australia as one of two centres of naval shipbuilding in this country,” he said.

“It is fortunate that we have some very active and influential Western Australian politicians in Government in Canberra who have achieved this outcome for our state.”