After being received by the Royal Australian Navy at the end of May, Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Inscription has officially been entered into service following its naming ceremony in Henderson.
The Australian White Ensign was hoisted for the first time at Monday afternoon's ceremony.
ADV Cape Inscription will be crewed and operated by the RAN and will be deployed in support of border protection operations.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the $63 million project, won by Austal, to build two additional Cape Class Patrol Boats boosted employment in the Henderson region.
“Austal is a valued partner, delivering a total of 10 Cape Class Patrol Boats to both the Australian Border Force and the Royal Australian Navy," said Minister Pyne.
“The two latest vessels, ADV Cape Fourcroy and ADV Cape Inscription, were built by Austal through a lease with the National Australia Bank and will operate until at least 2020.
“The company says the project employed over 400 people in Henderson and more than 350 indirectly across the country.
“Cape Inscription will support Navy operations, while the Armidale Class Patrol Boats complete planned maintenance activities."
Cape Inscription is the 10th Cape Class vessel designed and constructed by Austal. Cape Inscription joins Cape Fourcroy, which was delivered to the Navy in April 2017, and a further eight Cape Class Patrol Boats delivered to the Australian Border Force between 2013 and 2015.
At the time of delivery, Austal's chief executive David Singleton said the Patrol Boat signified an important moment for the company as it turns its focus to preparing for the Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Frigate projects.
"Austal is proud to have delivered Australia’s entire border patrol capability over the past 19 years, through the Bay, Armidale and Cape Class patrol vessels. This work has enabled us develop an unrivalled local shipbuilding capability – we have a highly motivated and competent workforce and a comprehensive supply chain from across Australia," Singleton said.
"With the delivery of Cape Inscription and construction of 19 steel Pacific Patrol Boats underway, we are now preparing for both the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) and Future Frigate projects, which are due to commence next year."
Austal has partnered with German shipbuilder and designer Fassmer for the Australian government’s OPV contract and recently announced a new design office in Adelaide, South Australia to support this project.
The OPV program is estimated at more than $3 billion. Along with Austal and Fassmer's shortlisting, Damen of the Netherlands and Lürssen of Germany have also been selected.
Twelve vessels will be built in total to replace the 13 existing Armidale Class patrol boats.
Defence has said the OPVs will enhance the Australian Defence Force's capacity to support border security, maritime resource protection and military patrol and response operations.