The Royal Australian Navy will be leasing the two Cape-class patrol boats for another two years, extending the charter from the initial three year minimum term.
Originally built by shipbuilder Austal for the Australian customs, two of the eight boats were leased by the navy after it experienced availability issues with its Armidale-class patrol boats.
The Royal Australian Navy signed the additional two-year lease extension with the National Australia Bank (NAB) for the patrol boats Cape Fourcroy and Cape Inscription.
According to Austal, the charter and sustainment of Cape Fourcroy has been extended until April 2022, and Cape Inscription to May 2022.
Austal’s Cape Class is a 58 meter 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. With a crew of 22, the vessel is capable of undertaking 28 day patrols in (up to) sea state 4 and the ability to launch two boats simultaneously.
“This proven capability has also attracted attention from a number of export markets, including the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, which recently contracted Austal to deliver two of the vessels,” Austal CEO David Singleton said.
“The lease extension also includes a sustainment package – to be delivered by Austal and delivering revenue to Austal – to ensure vessels are available to meet the operational demands placed upon them.”