Saab to Supply Situational Awareness System for Australia’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels

Saab has received a contract from Lürssen Australia for the Situational Awareness System (SAS) for the Royal Australian Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).

The contract is expected to run over the 12 year OPV shipbuilding programme, which will see the delivery of 12 new ships. In addition to the Situational Awareness System, which is based on Saab Australia’s 9LV Combat Management System, the OPV will be fitted with Saab’s EOS 500 (electro-optical fire control director).

“Saab Australia is pleased to receive this order from Lürssen Australia. This is also an important step towards system commonality for the Navy, with 9LV installed, or contracted for delivery, across four classes of ship.” says Andy Keough, Managing Director for Saab Australia. “The development work being undertaken by Saab in Australia will also support export opportunities and position us well for future maritime projects.”

Saab Australia will carry out the majority of the work in its Adelaide facilities, which will create and sustain up to 50 jobs. Local Australian companies will be contracted to fabricate selected components of the Situational Awareness System including command consoles and computer cabinets, providing a high level of Australian industry participation and sovereign capability. The contract is received within the business area Surveillance.

SEA 1180 Future OPV

German shipbuilder, Lürssen was selected last year as the prime contractor by the Australian Government for designing and building 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), for its $4 billion SEA 1180 Phase 1 OPV project.

Lürssen beat shortlisted rivals Damen of the Netherlands and Fassmer of Germany.

The SEA 1180 ships will be larger and more capable than Australia’s current Armidale-class patrol boats, they are replacing. They will be 80 metres in length with a displacement of 1700 tonnes and a draught of 4 metres.

The vessels will be fitted with a 40mm gun for self-protection, three 8.4m sea boats, state of the art sensors as well as command and communication systems. This will allow the OPVs to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels, other Australian Defence Force units and our regional partners.

The new SEA 1180 OPV fleet will conduct intelligence and surveillance missions (ISR), search and rescue (SAR), humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and border protection patrols. The OPVs will have an important role protecting the borders and will provide greater range and endurance than the existing patrol boat fleet. The OPVs will allow the Navy to undertake more extensive operations and protect resources over greater distances and in more complex maritime environments.

They are able to embark unmanned aerial (UAV), underwater (UUV) and surface vehicles (USV) and can operate larger sea boats which are essential for boarding operations.

As detailed in the 2016 Defence White Paper, the Australian Government is undergoing its largest regeneration of naval capability since the Second World War. In total the it is spending $89bn on 21 Pacific patrol boats, 12 OPVs, nine future frigates and 12 submarines.



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