West Australian Shipbuilder Austal to Build New Patrol Boats


West Australian shipbuilder Austal has been chosen as preferred tenderer to build eight new patrol boats for Customs and Border Protection.

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor said the eight new vessels to be constructed under the $350 million contract would significantly boost the Customs and Border Protection capability to detect and respond to illegal activity in Australian waters.

Mr O’Connor said the new Cape Class patrol boats would have significantly enhanced surveillance and response capability plus the ability to travel greater distances than the current Bay Class vessels.

“These new vessels will better support our dedicated Customs and Border Protection officers to more readily carry out their important work,” he said in a statement.

Mr O’Connor said Austal had manufactured the current eight Customs and Border Protection Bay Class vessels as well as the 14 Armidale class patrol boats in service with the Royal Australian Navy.

The eight new vessels will be named after geographical capes in each Australian State and Territory: Cape St George (ACT), Cape Byron (NSW), Cape Nelson (Victoria), Cape Sorell (Tasmania), Cape Jervis (SA), Cape Leveque (WA), Cape Wessel (NT) and Cape York (Queensland).

“This is an important job retention and job creation opportunity for the Australian shipbuilding industry,” he said.

“The tender process was highly competitive showcasing the professional capability and substantial experience of the Australian shipbuilding industry.”

Austal said the contract covered the vessels plus associated logistics and in-service support services to sustain each vessel.

It will run for eight years with options to extend for various periods up until the expiration of the 20-year life of the vessels.

Austal chief executive Andrew Bellamy said the company was very proud to have been selected as the preferred tenderer for the Cape Class Patrol Boat project.

“This contract is strategically important to Austal as it is a key first step in the repositioning of our Henderson facilities and our Australian business as a defence focused operation,” he said in a statement.
Source: ministerhomeaffairs, June 13, 2011;