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Australia launches first Arafura class Offshore Patrol Vessel Arafura.

| 2021

According to information published by the Australian Ministry of Defense on December 16, 2021, Arafura class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), NUSHIP Arafura, was launched at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia – the first in a fleet of 12 OPVs being built for the Royal Australian Navy to replace the Armidale and Cape class patrol boats.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Arafura class Offshore Patrol Vessel Nuship Arafura (Picture source: Royal Australian Navy)

The Arafura class is a class of offshore patrol vessels being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The new ships were being used for offshore and littoral patrol, border protection, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations, mine warfare, and hydrographic survey.

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. The ship's range is about 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km), with an endurance of 21 days. The standard crew complement is 40 sailors, though up to 20 more can be berthed if required.

Shipboard armament consists of a single 40 mm gun and two 12.7 mm guns. Each vessel carries two 8.5-metre (28 ft) rigid inflatable boats and a single 10-metre (33 ft) boat, which are intended as the primary means of deploying offensive force in the ships' border patrol role. 

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