Australian shipbuilder Austal has officially opened a new vessel sustainment office in Cairns to support the Cape-class fleet and the future Pacific Patrol Boats (PPB) that Austal is currently building.
Following the opening ceremony on June 10, the sustainment facilities will employ nearly 30 people.
Austal’s vice president defence, Davyd Thomas AO CSC, who was in Cairns to meet with staff and to host supplier engagement forums for the company’s bid for the $3 billion Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program, said that the opening of the Cairns office marked the next big step for Austal’s national expansion.
“Cairns and Darwin are the two most important naval bases in northern Australia. They provide essential sustainment support for Australia’s naval maritime requirements, including support for the Offshore Patrol Vessels in the future,” Thomas said.
“Given our sustainment program on the Cape-class fleet and upcoming work on the PPB support, it makes sense that Austal establish a more prominent and permanent base in Cairns.
“Later this month we will also be officially opening our Adelaide design office to support the Australian Government’s OPV project,” Thomas added.
Sustainment teams will support the 19 steel Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement vessels (to be known as Guardian Class) currently under construction in Henderson, Western Australia.
These boats will be supplied to 12 Pacific nations by the Australian Government.