First Keel Laying of the New Navy Patrol Boats
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued July 24, 2020)
Austal was awarded an A$324M contract in May to build six Cape-class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy; the first of these new vessels is scheduled for handover in September 2021, with subsequent vessels being delivered through to March 2023. (Austal photo)
The National Shipbuilding Program has reached another milestone with the laying of the keel on the first of six new Cape Class Patrol Boats for the Royal Australian Navy.

The vessels are being built by Western Australian company Austal at Henderson, which 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 government is investing $350 million on the build program.

“This investment comes on top of this Government’s significant investment towards the build of up to 45 naval vessels at the Henderson Maritime Precinct,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The six new Cape Class Patrol Boats will be built with a number of enhancements, improving operational capability and crew capacity compared to the vessels already operated by both the Navy and the Australian Border Force.

“They will replace the Armidale Class and be utilised by the Navy as an interim patrol platform until the commissioning of the Offshore Patrol Vessels.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the construction of these boats at Austal’s Henderson shipyard shows the Government’s commitment to the shipbuilding industry in Western Australia.

“The laying of the keel not only initiates the formal construction phase of the build, it also means job creation here in Perth is well underway,” Minister Price said.

“This is welcome relief for the local and national economy during a period of economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.

“The construction of these boats will provide work for 400 of Austal’s commercial shipbuilders in WA, as well as more than 1,200 workers in the broader Australian supply chain.”

The first of these new vessels are scheduled for acceptance and handover to Navy in September 2021, with subsequent vessels being delivered through to March 2023.

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Defence Industry Minister Cuts Metal on Second of Six Cape Class Patrol Boats for Royal Australian Navy
(Source: Austal Ltd.; issued July 22, 2020)
Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Australia’s Defence Industry Minister, the Honourable Melissa Price MP, officially ‘cut metal’ on the second of six new Cape-class patrol boats to be constructed by Austal Australia for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The plate cutting of the second vessel follows the award of the A$324 million contract for six Cape-class Patrol Boats, announced on 1 May 2020 by the Australian Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC and Defence Industry Minister, The Honourable Melissa Price MP.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the plate cutting of the second new Cape for the RAN was completed less than 12 weeks after the contract announcement.

“With a hot production line, already constructing two Capes for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, our shipbuilders have quickly progressed to cutting metal on the second of six Capes for the Navy,” Mr Singleton said.

“It’s a fantastic example of the efficiencies that can be achieved by a skilled and experienced local workforce supported by our proven Australian supply chain.

“These new Capes for the RAN are helping to boost Australian sovereign shipbuilding capability, through the continued engagement of more than 700 Austal employees here in Western Australia and more than 1,000 suppliers, Australia wide.”

Based on Austal’s proven 58 metre aluminium monohull patrol boat design, the new RAN Capes include a number of enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet. Crew accommodation has been increased by 10 people, to now total 32 and ‘quality-of-life’ provisions have been enhanced, ensuring those who operate the new Capes have WIFI connectivity to the outside world regardless of the operating environment.

Delivery of the first of six Capes, Hull 811, is scheduled in September 2021 with subsequent deliveries of remaining vessels through to mid-2023.

Austal is also delivering 21 Guardian-class Patrol Boats for 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor Leste under the SEA3036-1 Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project, with six patrol boats delivered since 2018. Austal provides in-service support to both the Cape and Guardian-class Patrol Boat fleets through service centres located in Henderson, Western Australia; Cairns, Queensland; and Darwin, Northern Territory.

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