This announcement will see the Cape Class Patrol Boats enhance the border protection capability of Trinidad and Tobago in conjunction with the existing Coast Guard 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 WA. Austal has already built 10 Cape Class vessels in Henderson for the Australian Border Force and RAN. Delivery is expected to be in mid-2020.
CEO of Austal, David Singleton, said, "Having built 10 of the vessels for the Australian Navy and Border Force at Henderson, Austal has an established workforce and local SME supply chain, which we will reactivate to support the construction of these ships for Trinidad and Tobago."
This order is likely to be valued at about $100 million plus a multi-year ongoing maintenance and support package. Austal 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 the government.
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 4,000 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.
Trinidad and Tobago have requested that the purchase be supported by an Efic finance package, which will be developed specifically to support the program and for which Efic have already supplied a letter of support.
The sale of the vessels is conditional on final contracts being signed in the coming weeks, together with a conclusive offer from Efic to Trinidad and Tobago. It is expected that an initial, lower value design contract will be signed shortly to hasten preparations for the main contract and ensure that the delivery schedule will be maintained.
These vessels will be the latest additions to the work already scheduled in the Henderson facility, including a 109-metre catamaran for Molslinjen of Denmark, 21 Pacific Patrol Boats (PPB), currently in build, and a 117-metre trimaran for Fred Olsen S.A. of the Canary Islands, which will commence construction in August 2018. These additional build programs will keep the local workforce active at the current level until 2021 (2023 for PPB), one of longest forward order books seen at Austal for a decade or more.
"This contract builds on the six patrol boats and four water tax ferries already supplied by Austal to Trinidad and Tobago, highlighting the trust, long standing relationship and investment the government of Trinidad and Tobago has in Austal's capacity to build these ships," said Singleton.
Austal is an Australian shipbuilder and global defence prime contractor that designs constructs and sustains some of the world’s most advanced commercial and defence vessels. Austal has designed, constructed and delivered more than 300 commercial and defence vessels for more than 100 operators in 54 countries worldwide.
The company is Australia’s largest defence exporter and the only ASX-listed shipbuilder. Austal has industry leading shipyards in Australia, the US and Philippines and service centres worldwide.
Austal delivers iconic monohull, catamaran and trimaran commercial vessel platforms – including the world’s largest trimaran ferry and multiple defence programs such as the Littoral Combat Ship and Expeditionary Fast Transport for the US Navy.