Australia: Austal Hosts Naming Ceremony for Cape Class Patrol Boat

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Austal Hosts Naming Ceremony for Cape Class Patrol Boat

The second-in-series Cape Class Patrol Boat was named Cape Byron during a ceremony held at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia on April 28th.

 

Cape Byron is the second of eight boats being built by Austal for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) under a design, construct and in-service support contract. The vessel was launched at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in January 2014 and has since undergone final fit out and sea trials, with final crew familiarisation to be completed prior to delivery to ACBPS in the next few weeks.

The naming ceremony was attended by the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, and Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW, who officially named the vessel after Cape Byron in that state.

Austal President and General Manager, Graham Backhouse, said: “Over the last 26 years, Austal has designed and manufactured 250 high quality vessels. The majority of them were designed and built here in Henderson. Each vessel has been an important ingredient of Austal’s evolution to a Global Defence Prime Contractor, especially in developing and maintaining the intellectual property, design, manufacturing and sustainment capability that is now embodied in Cape Byron and indeed other vessels Austal is currently producing and sustaining across the world.

For the ACBPS this magnificent new patrol boat class represents a significant step forward in performance and capability. It is an advancement which Austal is proud to be a major contributor towards.

“We are excited at the prospect of seeing Cape Byron, the result of a superb team effort between Austal and ACBPS, joining Cape St George in service to perform the important role they are designed to undertake. We are confident she will perform admirably for many years to come.”

Minster Cash said: “Today, the Government acknowledged a critical milestone in Australia’s strategic border security program – the naming ceremony of Australian Customs and Border Protection Vessel (ACV) Cape Byron – a ~A350 million Government investment into building and supporting the next generation of Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol fleet.

These boats are specifically designed for their critical maritime law enforcement role. The increased size, improvements in surveillance technology, and patrolling range of the Cape Class will better support our dedicated marine unit officers to perform their challenging role.”

The Cape Class Patrol Boats represent an enormous improvement in Customs and Border Protection’s maritime capability, actively strengthening Australia’s national security framework and border protection regime.

“Cape Byron is a highly impressive, state-of-the-art patrol boat that that sets an important benchmark in marine standards.” Minister Cash said.

More than reinforcing Austal’s reputation as a world leading ship designer and builder, Cape Class also demonstrates Austal’s broad capability and leadership in the revolutionary littoral defence space. Austal – as prime contractor for the design, build and support of Cape Class – has used in-house expertise to develop and integrate sophisticated electronic systems for command, control and communication, as well as building on its existing support capabilities to deliver a comprehensive in-service sustainment program for Cape Class.

This total ‘ships, systems and support’ capability represents the face of Austal’s Australian business, as the Company expands its status as a Global Defence Prime Contractor. This realignment of the Australian operations follows our continued delivery on two major defence vessel projects for the United States Navy at our shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, where Austal is the prime contractor for the Littoral Combat Ship and Joint High Speed Vessel programs, said HII in its release.

“The Cape Class Patrol Boat program reinforces our strategy of being a Global Defence Prime Contractor that designs and constructs ships, integrates systems, and provides ongoing support.

It is also significant for Australia, as being competitive and attaining the right balance between export and domestic demand is the only sustainable model for the long term future of naval shipbuilding in Australia and the capability it delivers.

“The Cape Class program is a major component of this, while the recent award of a contract to design and construct two 72 metre High Speed Support Vessels for a Middle East customer reinforces our ability to compete and win defence work in the competitive global market.” Mr Backhouse said.

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Press Release, May 1, 2014; Image: Austal

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