Two more Cape Class patrol boats will be built by Austal for Defence in a contract worth $63 million, The Australian has reported.
The vessels will be built for use under a minimum three year charter by the Department and are expected to be delivered in mid-2017.
Eight of the patrols vessels have been built to date and are operated by the Australian Border Force, however two, Cape Nelson and Cape Byron, were recently transferred to the Royal Australian Navy to assist with meeting its commitments for border security operations.
The RAN lost Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Bundaberg to an onboard fire as it was undergoing an extensive refit in August 2014. In addition the commencement of the structural remediation program for the Armidales has made the transfer of the two loan vessels necessary.
According to The Australian, Austal was awarded the contract by NAB, and holds the option of buying back the ships at an agreed price if Defence returns them after three years.