Australia’s Defence Export Facility will provide a loan, of up to AU$80 million, to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (GoRTT) to support the acquisition of two Cape Class Patrol Boats from Australian shipbuilder, Austal.
The Australian export credit agency, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), will administer loans under the Defence Export Facility.
Austal previously reported in July the intention of the GoRTT to purchase these patrol boats. Austal is still in contract negotiations with the GoRTT but has concluded an interim Schedule Protection Agreement to allow work to commence at Austal’s Henderson, Western Australia centre for excellence in Maritime design to support the sale. A fee is due to be paid which will allow Austal to commence some work on the project and to order long lead time items.
It is expected that the final contract will not be announced until late in quarter 1 of the 2019 calendar year. The order is likely to be valued at circa AU$100m plus a multi-year ongoing maintenance and support package. Austal also expects to establish a Service Centre in Trinidad to support these vessels, the Austal supplied Fast Patrol Craft, and any additional vessels requiring maintenance as determined by GORTT.
The new vessels will enhance the border protection capabilities of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) in conjunction with its existing fleet, and will join six Austal Fast Patrol Craft acquired in 2009.
The new Cape Class vessels will be built in Austal’s Henderson shipyard based in Western Australia. Austal have already built 10 Cape Class vessels in Henderson for the Australian Border Force and RAN. Delivery is expected to be in mid-2020.
Designed and built by Austal, the Cape Class is a 58 metre all aluminium monohull patrol boat specifically produced to combat the full range of maritime security threats. The vessel has a long 4000 nautical mile range and 28-day patrol cycle with a crew of up to 22. The vessel also supports two high speed 7.3 metre Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats used for intercepting other vessels.