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Navy watch

Australia’s offshore patrol vessels: Missing an opportunity?

By Ben Coleman

While much public attention has been given to the acquisition of Australia’s new submarines and frigates, the acquisition of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to replace the Armidale-class patrol boats under Project SEA 1180 has attracted much less scrutiny or comment.

It deserves more.

Although an OPV is a much less complex platform than a modern frigate or submarine, Project SEA 1180 will produce a significant element of the ADF structure and have a major role in Australia’s national security efforts, and some aspects of the project construction arrangements are certainly unusual.