Austal’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Philippine Navy is based on a proven platform that has demonstrated success operating in tropical environments and conducting border patrol and maritime operations. The submitted design is for a larger, more capable variant of Austal’s Cape Class vessels that are currently in operation with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy, and that was recently announced by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as its next maritime protection asset. Austal is in talks with the Philippines Government for a contract to build six offshore patrol vessels for its navy.
The variant developed for the Philippines is a circa 80 metre steel OPV including Austal’s industry leading MarineLink ship control system and class-leading ride control technology. The Philippine Navy OPV features an aviation deck enabling helicopter and unmanned aeronautical systems missions. The OPV is arranged with a starboard boat deck and stern well for the safe and rapid launch and recovery of RHIBs. The vessel is fitted with a mission bay and aft storage area to facilitate the embarkation of containerised mission modules.
It would be the first time Austal has built defence vessels in the Philippines, which to date has produced commercial ferries. Austal’s defence work has been carried out in Henderson, south of Perth, and at its US facilities in Mobil, Alabama. Austal’s OPV will be designed in Australia and the Philippines but will be proudly built at Austal Philippines, by Filipinos, for the Philippines Navy. Austal’s Balamban shipyard will not only be able to build the new vessels but also support any through life maintenance that is required. The Philippines shipyard employs hundreds of local people in a broad range of professional, technical and trade roles, and has been responsible for developing the local supply chain in addition to working with local universities and educational establishment
The vessel’s operational capabilities include the ability to:
Execute ISR operations;
Conduct Search and Rescue operations;
Execute anti-piracy, anti-terrorism, anti-smuggling, anti-human trafficking and anti-drug operations;
Provide critical infrastructure protection;
Support special forces operations; and
Provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.