Defense

Austal to build 6 Cape-class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy

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Austal Australia has been awarded a $324 million contract to design and construct six evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (CCPBs) for the Royal Australian Navy, Austal has announced on 1st May. This is the largest contract for an Australian vessel construction program ever awarded to Austal in the Company’s 30-year history.

The six new vessels, to be constructed at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia, will add to the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) existing fleet of two CCPB’s delivered in 2017 and further extends Austal’s Cape-class Patrol Boat program to a total of 18 vessels. This includes eight patrol boats operated by the Australian Border Force and two currently under construction for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the new contract both reaffirmed the Capeclass as Australia’s pre-eminent patrol boat platform and represented a clear commitment by the Australian Government to strengthen Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding industry during a challenging global environment, brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal to replace the existing fleet of 13 Armidale-class patrol boats (designed and manufactured by Austal) with new, evolved Capes.

Crew capacity 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 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.

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. Page 3 of 5 Construction of the six Capes for the RAN will commence immediately at Austal Australia’s Henderson, Western Australia, shipyard with deliveries scheduled from September 2021, then successively through to mid-2023.

Cape-class patrol boats :

The boat has an overall length of 57.8m, a beam of 10.3m and a draft of 3m. Each ship can carry a crew of 18. Accommodation facilities are provided for government officials and customs, as well as border protection officers.

Cape Class Patrol Boats will replace the ageing fleet of Bay Class patrol boats.

The Cape Class patrol boats incorporate a monohull design. The vessels are equipped with a high degree of surveillance technology.

Each boat allows the simultaneous launch of two high-capacity response tenders (7.3m Gemini sea boats) to carry out rescues.

The patrol boats are fitted with a motion control system for improved passenger comfort. The system consists of two roll fins and two trim flaps. The vessels can operate in more rigid sea conditions and travel longer distances than the current customs’ fleet.

The Cape Class is provided with gun mounts to install deck-mounted machine guns.

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