Australia’s Department of Defence will order two more evolved Cape-class patrol boats from Austal Australia, according to the announcement made by the country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 18 April.
The two new vessels are in addition to the six evolved Cape-class patrol boats that are currently being delivered by Austal Australia for the Royal Australian Navy. Last month, the navy welcomed the first patrol boat ADV Cape Otway.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg stated: “This announcement for additional Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats further strengthens and supports Australian sovereign shipbuilding capability and provides Austal, and our outstanding supply chain partners, with a level of continuity that will provide stability and security for the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.”
“Austal will also continue to invest and develop our facilities in Henderson to ensure we have the capability and capacity for the future programme of work the Prime Minister has previously announced. We look forward to continuing at pace, with all eight Evolved Cape Patrol Boats to be delivered through to 2024, providing long-term commitments to our supply chain partners in the Australian Shipbuilding Industry,” Gregg added.
The evolved Cape-class patrol boat is an evolution of Austal’s Cape-class patrol boat platform, first developed for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (now Australian Border Force) in 2013.
With eight Capes delivered to the ABF over 2013-2015 and an additional two Capes delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in 2017, there are now ten Cape-class patrol boats operating around Australia.
In 2021, Austal Australia delivered two Cape-class patrol boats to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard – the first exports of this class of vessels.
Based on the original 58-meter aluminium monohull design, the evolved Cape-class patrol boats include several enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet.
Crew capacity has been increased by 10 people, which is now a total of 32 crewmembers and quality-of-life provisions have been enhanced, ensuring those who operate the new vessels have connectivity to the outside world, regardless of the operating environment, according to the firm.
The evolved Cape-class patrol boats will conduct a wide variety of constabulary and naval missions.
In addition to the evolved Cape-class patrol boat project, Austal Australia is also currently delivering 21 Guardian-class patrol boats for the Australian Department of Defence under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project, with 14 patrol boats delivered since 2018. Last month, the company delivered 14th Guardian-class patrol boat.