Royal Australian Navy’s fifth evolved Cape-class patrol boat (CCPB) has been launched in Henderson, Western Australia, bringing Australia a step closer to an enhanced border protection capability. The future ADV Cape Woolamai, named after the headland at the south-eastern tip of Phillip Island in Victoria, was recently launched after about 12 months of construction. Each vessel continues the lineage of the CCPB, all named after significant capes around Australia. The fleet of eight evolved CCPBs feature improved quality of life systems and advanced sustainment intelligence systems that further enhance the Navy’s ability to fight and win at sea.
Head Patrol Boats and Specialist Ships Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said,”The vessels would ease and de-risk the Navy’s transition from the Armidale-class to the increased capability of the Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels. The evolved CCPBs will form an integral part of Australia’s maritime surveillance and protection strategy and will help detect, deter and respond to threats in our exclusive economic zone. These vessels will be able to combat the full range of border security threats. They can identify, track and intercept an extended range of vessels in the maritime domain in a variety of weather conditions.”
Developed through the in-service experience of ten CCPBs already operated by the Navy and Australian Border Force, the new 58-metre boats are built with a number of enhancements, improving operational capability and crew capacity. The new patrol boats will contribute to the protection of Australia’s fisheries, immigration, customs and drug law enforcement operations and will work alongside other government agencies, such as Australian Border Force. The evolved CCPB project is supporting about 400 jobs directly, with flow-on effects to Austal’s supply chain partners across Australia.
The Cape class is a ship class of 20 large patrol boats operated by the Marine Unit of the Australian Border Force, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard. Ordered in 2011, the vessels were built by Austal to replace Customs’ Bay-class patrol boats, and entered service from 2013 onwards. Following availability issues with the Armidale class, two vessels were chartered by the RAN from mid-2015 to late 2016. A further two vessels were ordered at the end of 2015 by the National Australia Bank, who will charter the patrol boats to the Department of Defence from completion in 2017. The Royal Australian Navy placed an order for six ‘Evolved’ Cape-class vessels in 2020 and a second order in 2022 for an additional two vessels.