First keel laying of new Cape-class patrol boat

The National Shipbuilding Program has reached another milestone with the laying of the keel on the first of six new Cape-class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy.

FILE PHOTO (2017): Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Fourcroy will soon be joined by six new Cape-class boats in the Royal Australian Navy. Austral photo.

The vessels are being built by Western Australian company 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.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the six new new patrol boats represented a $350 million investment.

“The six new Cape-class 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 Reynolds said.

“They will replace the Armidale-class and be used by Navy as an interim patrol platform until the commissioning of the offshore patrol vessels.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the laying of the keel initiated the formal construction phase of the build.

“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,” Minister Price said.

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.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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