On April 26, Austal welcomed the Minister for Defence Industries, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, to cut the first steel plate for the first of nineteen Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) vessels for the Commonwealth of Australia.
Austal CEO Mr. David Singleton said the plate-cutting was not only the start of construction for the A$306 million Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project, but also the Australian Government’s A$89 billion Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program.
«Austal is incredibly proud to be delivering the Commonwealth’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project. Austal is Australia’s only design, build and sustainment shipbuilding company. Austal has already delivered the Commonwealth’s entire border patrol capability for over 18 years. The PPB-R project is the largest fleet of steel vessels to be constructed by Austal. This project demonstrates our ability to manage and deliver complex shipbuilding projects for the Australian Government», Mr. Singleton added.
«The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project will also provide opportunities for some of the 100 new apprentices to be recruited by Austal over the coming seven months – and ultimately employ up to 207 Austal employees directly. Upwards of 300 more are expected to be employed across our Australian supply chain, meaning more than 500 people will be engaged with the PPB-R project. We’re building Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability, today», Singleton concluded.
Joining Minister Pyne at the ceremony were Shadow Minister for Defence Issues, Mr. Sean L’Estrange MLA, Austal’s Chairman, Mr. John Rothwell, Chief Operating Officer Patrick Gregg, HD Plasma and Laser Cutting Services Managing Director Les Archibald and representatives from the Royal Australian Navy, Department of Defence, suppliers and industry.
With the project’s Detailed Design Review and plate-cutting both delivered on-schedule, Austal is on track to deliver the first steel PPB-R vessel in late 2018.
About the Patrol Boats (SEA3036)
The contract for the SEA3036 Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project was awarded to Austal in May 2016 and comprises the design, construction and sustainment of nineteen 129.6 feet/39.5-meter steel patrol boats, to be gifted to twelve Pacific Island nations from 2018 to 2023.
Austal was selected following a competitive tender process against international shipbuilding consortiums, with a cost effective, proven patrol vessel platform and a build strategy that includes a dedicated shipbuilding facility (opened by Minister Pyne on 8th March 2017), Cairns-based sustainment operations and an established, reliable Australian supply chain with over 325 companies nation-wide.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project is based on Austal’s proven patrol boat design platform and is 129.6 feet/39.5 meters long with a beam of 26.2 feet/8 meters and a loaded draft of 8.2 feet/2.5 meters. It is capable of traveling at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h and at 12 knots/13.8 mph/22km/h possesses a 3,000-nautical mile/3,452-mile/5,556-km range. Each vessel can accommodate 23 people.