Austal rolls out ninth Cape-class patrol boat

Australian shipbuilder Austal has rolled out Hull 380 at its Henderson shipyard ahead of the launch later this week.

Hull 380 is the ninth Cape-class patrol boat designed and constructed by Austal and the first of two to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 2017.

The patrol boat will undergo final fitout before sea trials in January 2017. Delivery to the navy is on schedule for April 2017.

The roll out was attended by the Australian defence industry minister and other Austal and government representatives.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: “It is with great pride we welcome the defence industry minister here today to celebrate not only the continuing success of Cape-class as an effective maritime border protection solution, but Austal’s proven shipbuilding capability.”

“Austal delivered eight Capes to the Australian Border Force over 2013 – 2015 and we will hand over Capes 9 and 10 to the Royal Australian Navy in the first half of 2017. To date, we have directly engaged 348 Australian suppliers and created and sustained 350 jobs in the delivery of the Cape program.”

Austal’s Cape-class patrol boat is a 58 metre all aluminium monohull vessel, designed to perform border protection and maritime security tasks, with a top speed of 26 knots and a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles.

According to the company, the vessel is capable of undertaking 28 day patrols in (up to) sea state 4 and the ability to launch two boats simultaneously.

New, enhanced maritime security and anti-mine warfare variants of the Cape were announced at Euronaval 2016, which offer even greater capability and feature mission packages that include unmanned aerial vehicle’s (UAV’s), unmanned surface vessel (USV’s) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV’s).

The second Cape for the RAN, Hull 381, is due for launch in February 2017, Austal said.