Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has officially ‘cut metal’ on the second of six new Cape Class patrol boats to be constructed by Austal Australia for the Royal Australian Navy.
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The plate cutting of the second vessel follows the award of the $324 million contract for six Cape Class patrol boats, announced on 1 May 2020 by Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price.
Based on Austal’s proven 58-metre aluminium monohull patrol boat design, the new RAN Capes include a number of enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet.
Austal chief executive David Singleton said the plate cutting of the second new Cape for the RAN was completed less than 12 weeks after the contract announcement.
“With a hot production line, already constructing two Capes for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, our shipbuilders have quickly progressed to cutting metal on the second of six Capes for the Navy,” Singleton said.
Crew accommodation has been increased by 10 people, to now total 32, and ‘quality-of-life’ provisions have been enhanced, ensuring those who operate the new Capes have Wi-Fi connectivity to the outside world regardless of the operating environment.
Delivery of the first of six Capes, Hull 811, is scheduled in September 2021 with subsequent deliveries of remaining vessels through to mid-2023.
Austal is also delivering 21 Guardian Class patrol boats for 12 Pacific island nations and Timor Leste under the SEA 3036-1 Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project, with six patrol boats delivered since 2018.
Austal provides in-service support to both the Cape and Guardian Class patrol boat fleets through service centres located in Henderson, Western Australia; Cairns, Queensland; and Darwin, Northern Territory.
Austal is Australia’s global shipbuilder and defence prime contractor designing, constructing and sustaining some of the world’s most advanced commercial and defence vessels.
For more than 30 years Austal has contracted more than 300 vessels for over 100 commercial and defence operators in 54 countries. Austal is Australia’s largest defence exporter and first ASX-listed shipbuilder. Austal has industry leading shipyards in Australia, the US, Philippines and Vietnam, with service centres worldwide, including the Middle East.