Austal Australia has been awarded a A$324 million contract to design and construct six evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (CCPBs) for the Royal Australian Navy. This is the largest contract for an Australian vessel construction program ever awarded to Austal in the Company’s 30-year history.

The six new vessels will be constructed at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia and will add to the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) existing fleet of two leased CCPB’s delivered in 2017.

This contract will bring the company’s Cape-class Patrol Boat program to a total of 18 vessels. This includes eight patrol boats operated by the Australian Border Force and two currently under construction for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the new contract both reaffirmed the Cape-class as Australia’s pre-eminent patrol boat platform.

“Since its introduction by the Australian Border Force (ABF) in 2013, the Cape-class has proven to be a high-performing, reliable and effective maritime asset, utilised for a wide variety of constabulary and naval missions, playing a critical role in Australia’s national security,” Mr Singleton said.

“With ten Capes currently in operation with the ABF and RAN, it is a smart, logical step to build upon the existing fleet with additional vessels that will enhance the nation’s ability to protect and secure our maritime borders.”

The six new Cape Class Patrol Boats will grow the patrol boat force to 16 vessels, while the new larger Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels are introduced into service.

Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds said the new vessels will play an important role in keeping Australia’s borders safe, while Navy’s new capability is brought online.

“These vessels will not only enhance national security, but will provide important economic stimulus and employment continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Reynolds said.

The new RAN’s new evolved CCPBs are based on Austal’s 58-metre aluminium monohull design will include a number of enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet, including an increase in the crew complement by ten to 32 personnel

Construction of the six Capes for the RAN will commence immediately at Austal Australia’s Henderson, Western Australia, shipyard with deliveries scheduled from September 2021, then successively through to mid-2023.

 

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