Austal Australia has welcomed Assistant Minister for Defence, The Hon Andrew Hastie MP, to officially launch the second of six Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The 58-metre aluminium monohull patrol boat was launched following 18 months of construction at the company’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. The new Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats for the Royal Australian Navy include several enhancements that further extend the capability of the proven vessel and the fleet; with modifications developed through the in-service experience of ten Cape-class Patrol Boats already operating with the Navy and Australian Border Force throughout Northern Australia.
Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon. Andrew Hastie MP said, “The Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats were a vital capability that would be used by Navy to continue to secure our borders and protect Australia’s sovereignty at sea. This is a great day for WA’s defence industry. Today marks another important milestone in the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan – further strengthening our sovereign defence industry capability and delivering the largest regeneration of our naval fleet since the second world war. I was pleased to launch this vessel today. Building these vessels here in Western Australia means a stronger defence force that will protect our borders and our national security interests and create long-term local jobs.”
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said, “It was very fitting that the Assistant Minister for Defence officially launched the vessel, which is one of nine naval ships to be delivered to the Commonwealth of Australia by Austal this calendar year. I’m proud to say the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Project for the Royal Australian Navy is progressing at pace. We will be handing over the First of Class in March, with follow-on vessels delivered every 4 months thereafter. Our hardworking Austal team and supply chain partners continue to achieve greater efficiencies and productivity, working together with the Department of Defence to provide new capability in support of the Navy’s operational requirements and further develop the National Shipbuilding Enterprise.”
The A$324 million contract for the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Program (SEA1445-1), comprising six 58-metre vessels, was awarded to Austal Australia in May 2020 and has directly employed approximately 400 people in Henderson, Western Australia and hundreds more through supply chain partners across Australia. Based on Austal’s 58-meter long aluminium monohull design, the “evolved” Cape-class vessels include several enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet. The Cape-class patrol boats include modifications determined through the in-service experience of the two RAN and eight Australian Border Force Cape-class vessels, operating throughout Northern Australia waters.