Austal hosted the keel-laying ceremony for the seventh vessel (Cape Wessel) of eight 56-metre patrol boats that Austal is designing, building and supporting for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) on 4 July 2014. With this ceremony Austal once again demonstrated the rapid progress it is making on the Cape Class Patrol Boat Program.
Austal was awarded the contract for the design, construction and through-life support of the Cape Class Patrol Boats for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service in August 2011. The eight 58 metre aluminium monohulls are due to be delivered between March 2013 and August 2015.
The Cape Class Patrol Boats play a significant role in Operation Sovereign Borders i.e. protecting Australia’s borders from multiple maritime threats and have been designed to have greater range, endurance and flexibility, as well as enhanced capability to operate in more severe sea conditions and across longer range than the current Customs and Border Protection and indeed Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat fleet.
Apart from the Cape Class Patrol Boats, Austal is prime contractor for two major defence projects – the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) – for the United States Navy.
Press Release, July 09, 2014; Image: Austal