01 May 2020
by Gabriel Dominguez
Canberra announced on 1 May that it will be investing about AUD350 million (USD225 million) in a programme for the construction and supply of six Cape-class patrol boats to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said that the vessels, which will be built by Austal at its Henderson shipyard in Western Australia, “will play an important role in keeping Australia’s borders safe, while [the] navy’s new capability [12 Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels] is brought online”.
“These vessels will not only enhance national security but will [also] provide important economic stimulus and employment continuity during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic,” added the minister.
The Australian Border Force currently operates eight Cape-class boats, while the RAN operates two leased vessels of the class: CapeFourcroy , which was delivered to the service in May 2017, and CapeInscription , which was handed over in July 2017.
A computer-generated image of a Cape-class patrol boat. Austal announced on 1 May that it had been awarded a contract to build six ‘evolved’ ships of the class for the RAN. (Austal)
In a separate statement Austal said it had signed an AUD324 million deal to design and build six “evolved” Cape-class boats under what it described as “the largest contract for an Australian vessel construction programme ever awarded to Austal in the company’s 30-year history”.
Construction of the six vessels will commence “immediately”, said the company, adding that deliveries are set to take place between September 2021 and mid-2023.
Canberra announced on 1 May that it will be investing about AUD350 million (USD225 million) in a pro...