Australia’s first evolved Cape-class patrol boat starts sea trials

Defense company Austal Australia commenced sea trials of the first of six “evolved” Cape-class patrol boats under construction for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Based on Austal’s 58-meter long aluminum monohull design, the “evolved” Cape-class vessels include a number of enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet.

The Cape-class patrol boats include modifications determined through the in-service experience of the two RAN and eight Australian Border Force Cape-class vessels, operating throughout Northern Australia waters.

Crew capacity on the boats has been increased by 10 people, and quality-of-life provisions have been enhanced, ensuring those who operate the new patrol boats have connectivity to the outside world.

The first vessel was launched in October this year. The launching ceremony took place at the Austal Ships shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

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The Australian Navy ordered the six vessels back in 2020. Under the A$324 million ($231 million) contract, Austal will build six vessels with deliveries scheduled from 2022, then successively through to mid-2023, according to the shipbuilder.

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Photo: Austal Australia