The Whiskey Project, owner of Naiad and Yamba Welding & Engineering, is expected to deliver a new watercraft to Defence in the latter half of April.
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Yamba Welding & Engineering (YWE) has completed the design and construction of a new Regional Support Craft (RSC) for the Australian Army's 51st Far North Queensland Regiment. The RSC is currently undergoing testing in Yamba, northern NSW, and is expected to be delivered to the Australian Defence Force in the latter half of April.
It is hoped that the new 12.5-metre Naiad watercraft will assist the Regional Force Surveillance Group's capabilities in far north Queensland, such as search and rescue, casualty evacuation and surveillance for the Regional Force Surveillance Units.
The Naiad was able to undergo intense product testing during the recent flooding in northern NSW and is closely related to the Naiad's employed by the Australian Border Force as part of Operation Sovereign Borders.
Darren Schuback, managing director of The Whiskey Project, which owns the Naiad and Yamba Welding & Engineering, outlined that Australia's northern defence relies on the Naiad.
“For over 20 years Australia and New Zealand’s coast guard, rescue, patrol and Defence agencies have relied on Naiad’s performance and handling in some of the world’s most challenging maritime condition,” Schuback said.
“As an Australian defence industry business we are proud to deliver a 100 per cent sovereign capability advantage to Army. We are delighted to demonstrate how all of Australia benefits when the solution is a superior-performing vessel, built from the ground up, right here in Australia. It benefits our regional Torres Strait neighbours and far north Queensland communities, it benefits the regiment, it benefits Operation Sovereign Borders.
“It benefits Australia’s maritime industry, our manufacturing skills, training and employment. But most importantly, it benefits the end user who receives a fit-for-purpose vessel that will enhance their ability to safely undertake the variety of maritime missions they perform each day.”
It is expected that the Naiad will be stationed on Thursday Island.
The Naiad is a diesel vessel, equipped with a COX CXO300 outboard motor.
Kevin Hogan, member for Page, welcomed the development and the creation of local industry.
“It is a testament to the capability of our region, that this vessel is made here in Yamba by skilled local professionals is to be used in a national capacity,” Hogan said.
“In addition to national defence recognition, the production of the Regional Support Craft is a welcome boost to our community, creating jobs and bolstering the local economy.”