Austal announced a contract to supply two additional Guardian Class Patrol Boats (Pacific Patrol Boats) for Timor Leste. The additional contract is worth A$29.7 million and increases the total program from 19 to 21 vessels.
The potential for the extension to the existing Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB) contract was first announced, last year, in Perth by Australian Prime Minister Turnbull and Timorese Prime Minister Alkatiri and has now been formally signed with Austal. The PPB program creates inter-governmental co-operation to aid regional security in the South Pacific by helping to secure maritime borders in that region.
“The first PPB is on schedule for launch at the end of May with construction of the following two vessels already well underway with the fourth vessel commencing construction in June,” Austal CEO, David Singleton said.
“Austal has a wealth of experience in shipbuilding having built over 300 vessels for 55 customers in 100 countries. We have utilised that experience and have met all major project milestones in the program on time.”
“This program will support 200 direct jobs at Austal and a further 200 indirect jobs in the broader industry. This is in addition to several hundred jobs supported at Austal by a number of large commercial export contracts currently under construction and planned for construction at our Henderson shipyard.”
“We are working on other export opportunities for the Guardian Class Patrol Boat thereby helping Australia sustain its sovereign naval shipbuilding industry which has already delivered over 40 patrol boats to international customers,” Mr Singleton said.
The PPB contract was awarded to Austal in May, 2016 and is worth A$305 million for the original 19 vessels and associated in service support.
These 39.5 metre, steel-hulled vessels will be delivered to 13 nations from late 2018 as part of Australia’s $2 billion commitment to regional maritime security through the Pacific Maritime Security Program. The program is called Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program (PPBR).
The all new Pacific Patrol Boat is based on Austal’s proven patrol boat design platform and is 39.5 metres long with a beam of 8 metres and a loaded draft of 2.5 metres. It is capable of traveling at 20 knots and at 12 knots possesses a 3,000 nautical mile range. Each vessel can accommodate 23 people.
The boats are currently under construction by Austal, with the keel for the first vessel laid on 31 July 2017. Based on current build schedules, delivery of Timor-Leste’s vessels will occur in June and September 2023.
Austal has separately partnered with Fassmer of Germany for the Commonwealth of Australia’s $3.5 Billion Offshore Patrol Vessel program and is in a teaming agreement with ASC to compete for the build of the $35 Billion Future Frigate Program.