Austal inks deal with Trinidad & Tobago for Cape-class patrol boat duo

Australian shipbuilder Austal has signed a contract to construct two Cape-class patrol boats (CCPB) for the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (GORTT).

Source: Austal

As informed, the order is worth around A$126 million.

The GORTT contract award follows an announcement by Austal on July 30, 2018, that the GORTT intended to purchase two CCPB.

Austal began construction with a metal cutting ceremony at the company’s Henderson shipyard on April 8, 2019. The shipbuilder is expected to deliver the vessels in the second half of 2020.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton explained that the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the country’s government supported the success of this defense export program.

“The RAN, which operates two CCPBs, was an effective advocate of the CCPB capabilities, hosting a sea ride for the visiting Trinidad & Tobago Chief of Defence Staff and engineering team to assess and experience the vessel’s capabilities… The whole of government advocacy in support of this defence export opportunity has been instrumental to its success,” Singleton said.

He added that Austal’s Cape-class patrol boats have been deployed in difficult maritime situations, intercepting irregular arrivals and preventing illegal smuggling.

The shipbuilder originally designed and built ten CCPBs used by RAN and Australian Border Force (ABF). The 58 metre all aluminium monohull patrol boats were specifically designed and manufactured to combat the full range of maritime security threats.

The CCPB has a 4,000 nautical mile range and a 28-day patrol cycle with a crew of up to 22 people, and is fitted with two high-speed rigid hull inflatable boats used for intercepting other vessels.

The GORTT requested that the purchase be supported by a financing package through Export Finance Australia (EFA). The Commonwealth announced in December 2018 that the Defence Export Facility would be available to support this program.