Australia started the construction phase of the replacement Pacific Patrol Boat program with a steel cutting ceremony in Western Australia on April 26.
Up to 21 steel-hulled vessels are set to replace the existing fleet of Pacific Patrol Boats as part of Australia’s new Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Austal is in charge of designing and constructing the first 19 vessels in Henderson, Western Australia.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, attended the steel cutting ceremony at HD Plasma and Laser Cutting Services in Bibra Lake.
“HD Plasma and Laser Cutting Services has been contracted by Austal for the supply, transport, storage and cutting of Australian manufactured steel plate,” Minister Pyne said.
“This is a fantastic example of what we are trying to achieve and highlights the benefits of building ships in Australia because the supply chain wins work and jobs are created.”
Once constructed and tested the vessels will be handed to the Australian Government and subsequently given to 12 Pacific Island countries as part of Australia’s new Pacific Maritime Security Program.
The first vessel is scheduled for delivery in late 2018.
Two vessels have also been offered to a new member of the program, Timor-Leste, with an option for these additional vessels to be constructed by Austal at an agreed fixed price should Timor-Leste accept the offer.