Australia’s Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price 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 Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price.
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.
Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (CCPBs)
Earlier this year, Austal Australia was awarded a A$324 million contract to design and construct six evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (CCPBs) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The six new vessels, to be constructed at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia, will add to the RAN’s existing fleet of two CCPB’s delivered in 2017 and further extend Austal’s Cape-class Patrol Boat program to a total of 18 vessels. This includes eight patrol boats operated by the Australian Border Force (ABF) and two currently under construction for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG).
This was the largest contract for an Australian vessel construction program ever awarded to Austal in the Company’s 30-year history.
The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard Capes (Hulls 398 and 399) are currently in an advanced state of construction and are scheduled for delivery later in 2020. Construction of the six Capes for the RAN has also been commenced at Austal Australia’s Henderson, Western Australia, shipyard with deliveries scheduled from September 2021, then successively through to mid-2023.
Austal’s Cape-class patrol boat is a 58 metre aluminium monohull vessel, designed to perform border protection and maritime security tasks, with a top speed of 26 knots and a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles. With a crew of 22, the original Cape-class vessel is capable of undertaking 28 day patrols in (up to) sea state 4 and the ability to launch two boats simultaneously.
The new evolved CCPBs can accommodate an additional crew of 10 for a total of 32 and quality-of-life provisions have been enhanced, ensuring those who operate the new Capes have connectivity to the outside world regardless of the operating environment. Further improvements have been incorporated into the new RAN Cape design, developed during the design and construction of two Cape-class patrol boats for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard; an export contract awarded on 16th August 2019 and won with the strong support of the Australian Government and Export Finance Australia.