Austal’s head of sustainment Robert Jackson said the company was committed to utilising local suppliers and service providers as much as possible in the delivery of the existing Cape Class Patrol Boat as well as future opportunities with the Pacific Patrol Boats," Jackson said.
"On top of our existing contract for the sustainment of the Cape Class fleet, the PPBR contract is an outstanding opportunity for Cairns-based businesses to help deliver world-class sustainment services to as many as 12 Pacific Island nations."
Austal was awarded a $305 million contract for the PPBR, which will see the construction of 19 steel-hulled patrol boats, as well as an option for two additional vessels.
It also includes sustainment support post construction for an initial seven-year period, which accounts for approximately $24 million of the contract value.
Each vessel will be 39.5 metres long, with a beam of 8 metres, a loaded draft of 2.5 metres and capable of traveling at 20 knots.
They will possess a 3,000-nautical mile range at 12 knots and accommodate 23 people.
Austal intends to bid for further sustainment support work over the service life of the class, estimated at 30 years, which will be awarded both during and beyond the initial seven-year period.
Austal marketing manager Paul Sparke said the business is currently in partnership with local SMEs, like Norship for the Cape Class patrol boats, and is looking forward to working with other businesses, particularly those in the marine industry.
Sparke said they plan to cut steel for the new project by April this year.
The boats will be delivered from late 2018.