Shipbuilder Austal Australia has ‘cut metal’ on the third of six new Cape-class patrol boats to be constructed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The plate-cutting marks the start of construction of Hull 813, part of a A$324 million, six vessel contract announced on 1 May 2020.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the Henderson, Western Australia shipyard now had five 58-metre Cape-class patrol boats in various stages of production.
“This third Cape for the Royal Australian Navy adds to the two already under construction by our … shipbuilders. Lined up prior to those, we have two more Capes for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, which are on track for delivery in the first half of 2021,” Singleton said.
Based on Austal’s 58-metre aluminium monohull patrol boat design, the new RAN Capes include a number of enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet. Crew accommodation has been increased by 10 people, to now total 32 and ‘quality-of-life’ provisions have been enhanced.
Delivery of the first of six Capes, Hull 811, is scheduled in September 2021 with subsequent deliveries of remaining vessels through to mid-2023.
Austal is also delivering 21 Guardian-class patrol boats for 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor Leste under the SEA3036-1 Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project, with eight patrol boats delivered since 2018.