The first of two Cape class patrol boats to be leased by the Royal Australian Navy has been rolled out at Austal's facility in Henderson, WA.
The two vessels are being leased to cover a gap in Navy's patrol capabilities since the loss of the Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Bundaberg in a dockyard fire and limitations and maintenance constraints affecting the rest of the class, compounded by extra tasking as a result of Operation Sovereign Borders.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said ADV Cape Fourcroy will be launched this week and delivered to the Navy in April 2017 with the second vessel, ADV Cape Inscription, following in May 2017. The roll-out marked the end of the main construction phase of the vessel.
“Austal is a prime example of Australian defence industry successfully delivering not just for Australia but capabilities for defence forces around the globe, including the United States Navy," Minister Pyne said.
The two vessels will be leased by Navy until at least 2019, supplementing the current Armidale Class Patrol Boat fleet.
The ships will be utilised across a broad range of operational tasks including counter-terrorism; irregular maritime arrivals; illegal exploitation of natural resources; prohibited imports and exports; piracy, robbery and violence at sea; compromise of bio-security; illegal activity in protected areas; and marine pollution.
During his WA visit, the Minister also met senior WA Government representatives and local companies to discuss opportunities for WA's defence industry.
“Today is an excellent chance to meet with key decision makers to further develop the partnership necessary to deliver Defence’s capability plans over the next decade," said Minister Pyne.
The Minister will also address the WA Defence Conference, organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, outlining the Turnbull Government’s defence industry agenda and how the state can maximise its involvement.