Austal Australia has launched the second of six Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The 58-meter aluminium monohull patrol boat was launched following 18 months of construction at the company’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.
Austal welcomed Assistant Minister for Defense, The Hon Andrew Hastie MP, to officially launch the vessel, which is one of nine naval ships to be delivered to the Commonwealth of Australia by Austal this calendar year.
“I’m proud to say the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Project for the Royal Australian Navy is progressing at pace,” said Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer, Paddy Gregg. “We will be handing over the First of Class in March, with follow-on vessels delivered every 4 months thereafter.
“Our hardworking Austal team and supply chain partners continue to achieve greater efficiencies and productivity, working together with the Department of Defense to provide new capability in support of the Navy’s operational requirements and further develop the National Shipbuilding Enterprise.
“The Evolved Capes for the Royal Australian Navy is just one of two major naval shipbuilding projects Austal is continuing to deliver this year – the second is the Guardian-class. In total, Austal Australia is going to deliver an unprecedented nine naval ships to the Commonwealth of Australia in 2022.”
Assistant Minister for Defense, the Hon. Andrew Hastie MP, said the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats were a vital capability that would be used by Navy to continue to secure our borders and protect Australia’s sovereignty at sea: “This is a great day for WA’s defense industry. Today marks another important milestone in the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan – further strengthening our sovereign defense industry capability and delivering the largest regeneration of our naval fleet since the second world war.
“I was pleased to launch this vessel today. Building these vessels here in Western Australia means a stronger defense force that will protect our borders and our national security interests and create long-term local jobs.”
The new Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats include enhancements that further extend the capability of the vessel and the fleet; with modifications developed through the in-service experience of ten Cape-class Patrol Boats already operating with the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Border Force throughout Northern Australia.
The A$324 million contract for the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Program (SEA1445-1), comprising six 58-meter vessels, was awarded to Austal Australia in May 2020 and has directly employed approximately 400 people in Henderson, Western Australia, and hundreds more through supply chain partners across Australia.