Austal Limited has joined the Royal Australian Navy in celebrating the official naming of the ninth Cape-class patrol boat designed and constructed by Austal, at a ceremony held at the HMAS Stirling naval base in Western Australia.
The first of two Cape-class patrol boats to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under a A$63 million contract, ADV Cape Fourcroy is named after the western most tip of Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory.
The naming ceremony at HMAS Stirling was attended by Commodore Luke Charles-Jones representing the RAN Fleet Commander; Captain Warren Bairstow, Commander Mine Warfare, Hydrographic and Patrol Forces; Captain Brian Delamont, Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling; Commander Mark Taylor, Commanding Officer of ADV Cape Fourcroy; and Gordon Blaauw, Austal’s Head of Design.
«Austal is delighted to deliver Cape Fourcroy, the first of two Cape-class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy and we look forward to completing this current contract with the on-time, on-budget delivery of Cape Inscription later this month», Gordon Blaauw said.
«We’re exceptionally proud of the proven Cape-class platform, which has set a new benchmark in patrol boat design and operability. These Austal designed and built vessels are helping secure and protect Australia’s extensive maritime borders, with eight operated by the Australian Border Force and two to be operated by the RAN», Blaauw added.
Austal’s 190-foot/58-meter Cape-class patrol boat was specifically designed to meet the unique border protection and maritime security requirements of the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy. With a top speed of 26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h and an operation range of up to 4,000 nautical miles/4,603 miles/7,408 km the Cape-class is a critical part of Australia’s ongoing maritime security. The vessel operates with a crew of 22 and is capable of operating 28-day patrols in sea state 4 with the ability to launch two boats simultaneously.
Commenting on the delivery and naming of this latest Cape-class, Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said Austal’s experience in designing and building defence vessels is demonstrated by the company’s successful delivery of a total 73 patrol boats for domestic and international markets since 1998. Mr. Singleton explained that the Cape Class Patrol Boat Program underpins Austal’s strategy to achieve the right balance between export and domestic production and is the basis for a sustainable model of naval shipbuilding in Australia.
«Exports derived from defence programs, like Cape, highlight ’the multiplier effect’ on local job creation, when Australian suppliers are engaged to deliver both domestic and international contracts. Every program we deliver creates both direct and indirect jobs, across the country. Austal has always operated with an export focus, and we continue to deliver four out of every five ships for the international market», Singleton added.
Austal is currently bidding with German designer Fassmer to design and build 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Australian Navy, as part of the Australian Government’s Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program. The continuation of Austal providing critical capability for the Commonwealth of Australia (through the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project) and RAN (with the Cape Class and OPV) will not only contribute to Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding industry, but provide a prominent base for increased export opportunities, globally.
Austal is currently pursuing export opportunities for variations of the Bay Class, Cape Class and Guardian Class (Pacific) Patrol Boats, for customers in the Middle East and Asia with expectations that this activity will result in even greater vessel design, construction and sustainment work and supply chain engagement in Australia.