The Federal Government of Australia has confirmed that ten of 12 offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) that are slated to be constructed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will be built in Henderson in the southern region of Perth.

German shipbuilding company Lürssen will be awarded the prime contract to provide the OPVs for the Australian Navy.

The company is expected to contract Australian companies Civmec and Austal to jointly carry out construction work on ten of the vessels in Western Australia.

"This is a great day for Western Australian industry, with up to 400 new jobs to be created through our involvement in the OPV programme."

Civmec and Austal will build the ships based on designs provided by Lürssen.

The construction of the first two ships is scheduled to begin in the second half of next year in Adelaide and will be conducted by shipbuilder ASC.

The work is scheduled to shift to Western Australia in 2020, where the rest of the ten vessels will be built.

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Austal CEO David Singleton noted that the OPV programme would add to the $2.5bn order previously secured by Austal over the past 18 months.

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

“This important programme 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.”

The OPV construction project forms a major part of the Australian Defence Force’s continuous naval shipbuilding programme and is expected to generate up to 400 direct jobs, as well as 600 indirect positions.

Australian Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia said: “This is a great day for Western Australian industry, with up to 400 new jobs to be created through our involvement in the OPV programme.

“The decision to use two Western Australia companies demonstrates the depth of capability of the Western Australia shipbuilding sector, and I congratulate Civmec and Austal on their success.”