The Commonwealth of Australia has signed a contract with Finland’s Boomeranger Boats on Oct. 9 to supply Rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) for Royal Australian Navy’s new Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).
Under the contract, Boomeranger will deliver two davit-launched 8.5-meter Fast Rescue Boats and one 10.5-meter ramp-launched Special Operations Boat for each of the SEA1180 OPVs. Both boats are RHIBs with inboard engines. In total, the contract comprises 41 RHIBs to be delivered over a period of 10 years.
The first batch of sea boats will be delivered in 2021 to support the acceptance of the first OPV, the future HMAS Arafura. The keel of the vessel was laid on May 10 at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.
As the primary role of the OPV will be to undertake constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties, the sea boats are a significant weapon system for the capability.
Both of the sea boat models are existing designs from earlier projects delivered by Boomeranger. The 10.5-meter sea boat is an enhanced variant of the ramp-launched RHIB delivered to the Royal Brunei Navy’s Darussalam-class offshore patrol vessel. Darussalam-class OPVs are based on the OPV 80 design by the German shipyard Lürssen (Luerssen), which also forms the basis for the Arafura class OPVs.