Defence has formally accepted its first evolved Cape class patrol boat.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said this is another significant milestone in the overall contract with Austal Ships to deliver a total of six evolved Cape class patrol boats to the Royal Australian Navy.
“The six vessels will boost Navy’s current patrol boat capability as we await the introduction into service of the newer and larger Arafura class offshore patrol vessels. We are now one boat closer to establishing that vital capability," he said.
“The evolved Cape class patrol boat project is one of three active naval shipbuilding projects underway in Western Australia. Worth approximately $343 million, it directly supports around 550 Australian jobs.
“The new patrol boats will also be the first vessels to be maintained at Regional Maintenance Centre North East, in Cairns. This further develops sovereign sustainment capability and promotes Australian industry involvement,” Minister Dutton said.
To coincide with the acceptance of the first evolved Cape class patrol boat, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, revealed the names of the six new vessels.
“They will be named Australian Defence Vessels (ADV) Cape Otway, Cape Peron, Cape Naturaliste, Cape Capricorn, Cape Woolamai and Cape Pillar.
“Each name continues the lineage of the Cape class patrol boats, all named after significant Capes around Australia.
“The first boat, Australian Defence Vessel Cape Otway, will be home-ported at HMAS Cairns by mid-2022. It will be joined by another evolved Cape class patrol boat and four Arafura class offshore patrol vessels by the end of 2028,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
Managing Director Rohde & Schwarz Australia Gareth Evans congratulated both Austal and the Rohde & Schwarz team for exceptional performance in delivery of the company’s Naval Integrated Communications System (NAVICS).
“It’s a great day for Austal and Navy, but also for Rohde & Schwarz Australia, which as Communication Systems Integrator (CSI) has achieved a number of record milestones that have significantly contributed to this day becoming a reality,” Mr. Evans said. “Within just five months of contract execution we completed the design of our customized NAVICS internal and external communications solution for the Cape class.”
The second of the six evolved Cape class patrol boats will be formally accepted by Defence in July this year. The remaining boats are under construction at Henderson shipyard in Western Australia and the final boat is expected to be delivered by May 2023.