The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has issued a request for tender (RFT) for a tailored sustainment plan for new offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is procuring the new Arafura-class OPVs, which are being built by ASC.

A total of 12 OPVs will be constructed with work on the first two units already underway.

Development of the patrol vessels is a significant part of the Morrison Government’s A$90bn continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program.

The procurement of Capability Life Cycle Manager (CLCM) services to support and sustain the Arafura-class OPVs will involve specialist asset management services.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “This will be a modern, innovative and highly skilled sustainment plan to deliver a complex naval capability, which is reliable, fit-for-purpose, and represents a new generation of naval operations.

“Establishing a skilled Australian industrial base with the capacity and skills to maintain our new fleet is key to building and maintaining a sovereign capability.

“Australia’s regional small businesses will play a key role in delivering sovereign maritime sustainment to support the programme.”

A briefing session will be held to discuss the Capability Life Cycle Management services model in Perth on 16 March.

The last date for submissions for the tender is 24 April.

In May 2019, the RAN performed the keel-laying ceremony for the first Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.