Australian naval base prepares for new OPVs with AU$300 million upgrade

Royal Australian Navy base HMAS Cairns will undergo an AU$300 million (US$226 million) upgrade to accommodate new offshore patrol vessels.

HMAS Cairns will be home to four of the 80-metre-long vessels to be built by Germany’s Lurssen.

The upgrades to the base in far north Queensland is in addition to a $22 million mid-term refresh in 2019-20 and $313 million for a major redevelopment after 2025-2026.

The AU$4 billion project for 12 new OPVs will start construction in the fourth quarter of 2018. They are expected to enter service from 2021.

With a draught of four metres, the OPVs have a displacement of 1,700 tonnes.

They are based on Lurssen’s OPV80 design and will be adapted to Australian requirements to allow them to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels and other Australian Defence Force units.

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