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Austal to build 2 additional Evolved Cape Class patrol boats

Austal has been awarded a contract valued at $157 million for the construction of an additional two Evolved Cape Class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy.

Austal has been awarded a contract valued at $157 million for the construction of an additional two Evolved Cape Class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy.

The ASX-listed shipbuilder will now build a total of 10 vessels delivered to the Navy as part of the SEA 1445-1 Project.

The Evolved Cape Class vessels are critical for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, as well as border patrols, across Australia’s maritime approaches, Austal Limited chief executive officer Paddy Gregg explained.

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“These additional Evolved Capes, designed and constructed by Austal in Henderson, Western Australia, are helping us to retain and build our sovereign, naval shipbuilding workforce and continue to engage supply chain partners from across Australia,” Gregg said.

“The Evolved Capes are also enhancing the Navy’s operations throughout Northern Australia, adding greater capability for maritime surveillance and border patrols, as part of the ongoing Operation Sovereign Borders mission.”

The Evolved Cape Class is a 58-metre aluminium monohull patrol boat. The first five boats were delivered over 18 months. They can accommodate up to 32 people and can be deployed for an array of constabulary and naval mission roles.

The company has confirmed that there are currently two patrol boats under construction.

Austal has also delivered 18 of 22 steel-hulled Guardian Class patrol boats under SEA 3036-1 since 2018.

Support for the Cape, Evolved Cape, and Guardian class patrol boats are delivered at the company’s services centres in Henderson, Cairns, and Darwin.

In December, Austal USA secured a contract for the final design and construction of three expeditionary medical ships from the United States Navy, valued at $1.28 billion.

The expeditionary medical ship is a variant of the expeditionary fast transport ship, designed for patient-holding, stabilisation, evacuation, and transport in support of distributed maritime operations.

To date, Austal USA has delivered 13 expeditionary fast transport ships for the US Navy.

According to a release from the shipbuilder, the vessel features a shallow draft that enables the ship to access austere ports, with a flight deck that is able to accommodate the V-22 Osprey and CH-53K heavy lift cargo helicopter, a release from the company read.

“The new expeditionary medical ship further extends the capabilities of the proven expeditionary fast transport (EPF) platform, designed and constructed by Austal, to enable more complex medical procedures and operations to be performed onboard, at sea and underway,” Gregg said.

“These three new EMS will enhance the US Navy’s capability to provide effective medical and surgical support anywhere in the world, quickly, safely and efficiently.”

The announcement came as Austal has signed a memorandum of understanding with NSW shipbuilder Birdon to jointly deliver the Australian Department of Defence Landing Craft-Medium (LC-M) Project.

Under the agreement, commencing in late November, both companies will develop Defence shipbuilding capability in Western Australia to deliver the LC-M craft, jointly develop a costed proposal for the LC-M Project, and explore potential Defence shipbuilding opportunities.

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