iXblue Tech for Oz Navy's New Offshore Patrol Vessels
French tech company iXblue will deliver inertial navigation systems and gyrocompasses for new Royal Australian Navy’s SEA1180 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).
Based on Fiber-Optic Gyroscope technology, iXblue’s inertial navigation systems will provide the 12 new Arafura Class vessels with highly accurate and reliable navigation capabilities in all environments, including within GNSS-denied operational areas, iXblue said.
David Cunningham, commercial director at iXblue: "We would like to thank the Royal Australian Navy and our Defence industry partners for their trust in our navigation systems as Australia embarks on the largest fleet modernization in decades. To be chosen as the supplier of INS and gyrocompass for the first of Australia’s continuous shipbuilding programs is a great recognition of our technology and of our ongoing support to the Royal Australian Navy...It’s also a great opportunity to invest in our Australian workforce and local partners and suppliers. We’re looking forward to our ongoing collaboration in Australia”.
Australia’s current Armidale Class and Cape Class patrol boats are planned to be replaced with a single class of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), under Project SEA 1180 Phase 1, to be built in Australia by German shipbuilder, Lürssen's subsidiary, Luerssen Australia partnering with Australian shipbuilder, Civmec in the joint venture, Australian Maritime Shipbuilding & Export Group (AMSEG).
The twelve Australian vessels are based on the PV80 design with the first two vessels to be built at ASC's Osborne ship yard in South Australia before production moves to Civmec's Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.
The primary role of the OPV will be to carry out constabulary missions, maritime patrol, and response duties.
The lead vessel, HMAS Arafura is planned to enter service in 2021.