The Morrison Government is investing around $350 million for the build program of six new Cape Class Patrol Boats for the Royal Australian Navy.
The vessels will be built by Western Australian company Austal, securing Australian shipbuilding jobs and maintaining strong border protection.
The Australian Border Force currently operates eight Cape Class Patrol Boats, while the Navy operates two leased Cape Class.
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 the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC 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 ability to build more of these vessels in Australia will deliver Australian Industry Content of more than 65 per cent, providing significant opportunities for Australian industry and Defence, as well as more than 1,200 workers in the broader Australian supply chain.”
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP said the six new patrol boats will be built at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Perth.
“This will help to ensure continued employment opportunities for 400 of Austal’s commercial shipbuilders in WA, with flow down benefits to Austal’s supply chain,” Minister Price said.
“Austal is an Australian industry success story with the company already building variants of the Cape Class Patrol Boat for international customers including the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
“They are also building the Guardian Class Patrol Boats in support of the Morrison Government’s Pacific Patrol Boat program.”