Finland’s Boomeranger Boats has won a contract to supply 41 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) to the RAN for use on its Arafura class Offshore Patrol Vessels now under construction.
The order, announced at the Pacific 2019 maritime exposition in Sydney on October 9, covers two davit-launched 8.5 metre Fast Rescue Boats and a single 10.5 metre ramp-launched Special Operations Boat for each OPV, plus five additional vessels to support training and to provide a number of spares.
Deliveries of the first RHIBs will begin in 2021 in time for the delivery of the first of the 12 OPVs, being acquired under Sea 1180 Phase 1, and the remainder will be delivered over the following decade.
Boomeranger Boats CEO Miika Tammi said both boats are existing designs, but customised to meet Australian requirements, including the configuration of the deck and the integration of Government Furnished Equipment.
The 8.5 metre FRB 850 is an inboard diesel, stern-drive boat already in service with the Finnish and German Navies and the 10.5 metre C 1100 outboard-powered RHIB has been supplied to the Royal Brunei Navy and is operational aboard the service’s four Lürssen-designed Darussalam-class OPVs.
Both designs have been successfully trialled by Navy and formed part of Lürssen’s winning bid for Sea 1180.
Tammi said that the vessels for the first two Arafura OPVs, which will be built in Adelaide, will be assembled in Finland, but fitted out locally and the company has established Boomeranger Australia to oversee the acquisition and sustainment of the fleet. The remaining boats will be delivered to Henderson to support construction of the following ten OPVs and will feature increasing Australian content.
“We are building an Australian supply chain,” Tammi said. “And we have already engaged extensively with local industry.”