Austal said it welcomed the government’s decision, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to order an additional two Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (ECCPB’s) for the Royal Australian Navy, for $124 million. Morrison was joined for the announcement at Austal by Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie, Attorney General Michaelia Cash President of the Senate Slade Brockman and Liberal Candidate for the seat of Fremantle Bill Koul. The two new vessels are in addition to the six Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats that are currently being delivered by Austal Australia for the Royal Australian Navy.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting the Royal Australian Navy by providing and enhancing fleet capability; working in collaboration with the Department of Defence and Industry partners. This announcement for additional Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats further strengthens and supports Australian sovereign shipbuilding capability and provides Austal, and our outstanding supply chain partners, with a level of continuity that will provide stability and security for the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise. Austal will also continue to invest and develop our facilities in Henderson to ensure we have the capability and capacity for the future programme of work the Prime Minister has previously announced. Last month Austal delivered the first of the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats, the ADV Cape Otway, in less than two years; overcoming the many challenges that materialised as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing at pace, with all eight Evolved Cape Patrol Boats to be delivered through to 2024, providing long-term commitments to our supply chain partners in the Australian Shipbuilding Industry.”

The Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat is an evolution of Austal’s proven Cape-class Patrol Boat platform, first developed for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (now Australian Border Force) in 2013. With eight Capes delivered to the ABF over 2013-2015 and an additional two Capes delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in 2017, there are now ten Cape-class Patrol Boats operating around Australia. In 2021, Austal Australia delivered a further two Cape-class Patrol Boats to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard – the first exports of a vessel class which has become a benchmark for offshore patrol capability around the world.

Based on the original 58 metre aluminium monohull design, the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats include several enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet. Crew capacity has been increased by 10 people, to now total 32 and quality-of-life provisions have been enhanced, ensuring those who operate the new vessels have connectivity to the outside world, regardless of the operating environment. The Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats will be utilised for a wide variety of constabulary and naval missions and play a critical role in Australia’s national security, as a high-performing, reliable and effective maritime asset for the Royal Australian Navy.

In addition to the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Project (SEA1445-1), Austal Australia is also currently delivering 21 Guardian-class Patrol Boats for the Australian Department of Defence under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1), with 14 patrol boats delivered since 2018. Austal provides in-service support to both the Cape and Guardian-class Patrol Boat fleets through dedicated service centres located in Henderson, Western Australia; Cairns, Queensland; and Darwin, Northern Territory. The first Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat, ADV Cape Otway (314) was delivered to the Australian Department of Defence and Royal Australian Navy on 23 March 2022.

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