Thales lands Australian Armidale class patrol boat service deal

HMAS Armidale. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Thales Australia has been awarded a contract for in service support of Royal Australian Navy’s Armidale-class patrol boats.

The contract is potentially worth over AU$55 million per annum and will start on July 1, 2017.

The five-year contract contains possible rolling-wave term extensions out to at least 2025, when the vessels will be phased out of service.

Thales is taking over the contract from Serco Group which was previously in charge of servicing the vessels. Serco was originally supposed to work on the boats until 2022, but the contract was terminated in 2016 after the company announced that contract was an onerous one.

Thales will work with Austal who was responsible for the design and construction of Armidale-class patrol boats.

Praising growing defence industry jobs in Cairns, where the boats will be serviced, Australian minister for defence Christopher Pyne welcomed Austal’s strong engagement with local industry in Cairns.

Up to 21 new Pacific Patrol Boats will also be sustained in Cairns by the Australian shipbuilder.

“Austal was awarded a $24 million contract to provide support services for the existing Pacific-class and new Pacific Patrol Boats for an initial seven years by the Turnbull Government, with support services contracted to start early 2018,” Pyne said.

“I congratulate Austal on its initiative to engage with the naval industry in Cairns on this important project that will employ 13 people to support vessels locally as well as in Henderson, Western Australia.”

Construction of the first Pacific Patrol Boat at Austal’s Henderson facility is scheduled to commence in April 2017 with delivery of the first vessel due in late 2018.

All of this is in addition to the $24 million election commitment to improve Cairns Marine precinct infrastructure, which is being delivered this year.

The Armidale Class patrol boat (ACPB) is a 56 meter all-aluminium monohull patrol boat designed and constructed by Austal for the Royal Australian Navy. Fourteen ACPB’s were delivered from 2005 to 2007 and will represent Australia’s essential patrol capability until new offshore patrol vessels start entering the fleet from 2020.

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