The first of two Cape Class Patrol Boats for the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Fourcroy, has been delivered.
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Global defence prime contractor Austal delivered Cape Fourcroy from the company's Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.
The two 58-metre patrol vessels are to be chartered by the Commonwealth of Australia on behalf of the RAN, which awarded the $63 million contract to Austal in December 2015.
Austal chief executive David Singleton said the delivery highlights Austal’s proven capability to design and build defence vessels – a record that has seen the company build 72 patrol boats for domestic and international markets before this delivery.
"This latest Cape Class, for the Royal Australian Navy, further strengthens Austal’s position as the only patrol boat designer and builder in Australia and a major world-class exporter for this class of vessels. The delivery of the Cape Class vessel clearly shows Austal’s unrivalled ability to design and construct defence vessels on-time and on-budget," Singleton said.
Earlier this year, Austal was selected as the design partner of German company Fassmer for the company's OPV bid.
"Austal has been building patrol boats for over 20 years and we look forward to more work in the future. This includes the opportunity to design and build 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Australian Navy with our design partner Fassmer in a continuous shipbuilding initiative being driven by the government," Singleton said.
The company currently has an order book of 20 patrol vessels to be delivered over the next four years and has successfully competed in a number of overseas markets. Austal is currently proposing variations of its Bay Class, Cape Class and Guardian Class Patrol Boats for customers in the Middle East and Asia, and expects this activity to bring further construction work to Australia.
Singleton said, "Exports derived from national defence programs show the multiplier effect on creating jobs out of Austal’s strong and hard won reputation in overseas markets".
ADV Cape Fourcroy, and the second ADV Cape Inscription, will be leased to the Navy until at least 2019, supplementing the current Armidale Class Patrol Boat fleet.
The total cost to lease the vessels is expected to exceed $3 million a year.
ADV Cape Fourcroy is the ninth CCPB designed and constructed by Austal and the first to be provided to the RAN.
The eight earlier Austal-built CCPBs were delivered to the Australian Border Force (previously known as the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service) between 2013 and 2015 as part of a $350 million design, construct and service support contract.
The CCPB vessel has a top speed of 26 knots and a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles. With a crew of 22, the vessel can undertake a 28-day patrol in up to sea state four, Singleton said.