Australian shipbuilding group Austal has announced that it has delivered the first of six Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats (ECCPB) to the Royal Australian Navy.

The 58-metre aluminum monohull patrol vessel, ADV Cape Otway, is the first of six to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy under a AU$324 million contract awarded to Austal Australia in May 2020. With a capacity superior to the benchmark Cape-class Patrol boats, the Evolved Capes, feature new, larger amenities to accommodate up to 32 people, improved quality of life systems, and advanced sustainment intelligence systems that will further improve the ability of the Royal Australian Navy to fight and win at sea.

The vessel was officially accepted and named by Defense Minister Peter Dutton in a ceremony held at Austal Australia’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. He was accompanied by the Head of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, and the Head of Maritime Systems, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm CSM.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the first advanced Cape Class patrol boat to be delivered reflects the collective skills, teamwork and capabilities of the national shipbuilding company. “Hangars don’t build ships, people do. And it’s great to celebrate today with representatives from Austal, the Department of Defence, our proud supply chain partners and many other defense industry companies across Australia. said Gregg.

The vessel was built in around 18 months, employing around 400 people directly in Western Australia and engaging over 300 supply chain partners across Australia.

“This first evolved Cape-class patrol boat was a true team effort, drawing on the expertise, drive and commitment of hundreds of talented individuals who are fundamental to the national security of this country,” said Gregg. “Apprentices, university graduates, interns, tradespeople and professionals; we don’t just build patrol boats, we design and build (and indeed, support) naval assets that keep Australia’s border secure.

In 2022, Austal Australia is expected to deliver nine new warships to the Commonwealth of Australia, including four advanced Cape-class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy (SEA1445-1) and five Guardian-class patrol boats to the Ministry of Defense under the project of replacement of Pacific patrol boats (SEA3036-1).