The first keel of six new Cape Class Patrol Boats has been laid.
The vessels are being built by Austal at Henderson, which will grow the patrol boat force to 16 vessels, while the new larger Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels are introduced into service.
“The six new Cape Class Patrol Boats will be built with a number of enhancements, improving operational capability and crew capacity compared to the vessels already operated by both the Navy and the Australian Border Force,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said.
“They will replace the Armidale Class and be utilised by the Navy as an interim patrol platform until the commissioning of the Offshore Patrol Vessels.”
“The laying of the keel not only initiates the formal construction phase of the build, it also means job creation here in Perth is well underway,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said. “The construction of these boats will provide work for 400 of Austal’s commercial shipbuilders in WA, as well as more than 1,200 workers in the broader Australian supply chain.”
The first of these new vessels are scheduled for acceptance and handover to Navy in September 2021, with subsequent vessels being delivered through to March 2023.