The first vessel from the Turnbull Government’s $90 billion continuous shipbuilding program has been launched.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said Austal launched the first of 21 new Pacific Patrol Boats – named the Guardian Class – at Henderson in Western Australia.
«The launch is a further demonstration the Turnbull Government is delivering on its ambitious naval shipbuilding agenda», Minister Pyne said. «The project, which is worth around $335 million, is on time and on budget. This particular boat will be gifted to Papua New Guinea in late October 2018 and is the first of 21 boats to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries and East Timor as part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program. Austal has advised the Guardian Class Patrol Boat Project supports around 400 jobs either directly or through the supply chain».
The boats will be used to conduct maritime surveillance and enforcement operations, such as combating illegal fishing.
Construction of the second and third boats is underway, with new boats scheduled to be delivered at approximately three-month intervals from late 2018 until 2023.
The 39.5 metre/129.6 feet steel-hulled patrol boats are being built at Austal’s dedicated production facility in the suburb of Naval Base, near Henderson.