Shipbuilder Austal Australia has announced the launch of the second of six advanced Cape-class patrol boats to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The 58-metre aluminum monohull patrol boat was launched after 18 months of construction at the company’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

Austal Limited Managing Director Paddy Gregg said it was very fitting that Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Hastie MP officially launched the vessel, which is one of nine warships to be delivered to the Commonwealth of Australia by Austal this calendar year.

“I am proud to say that the Royal Australian Navy Advanced Cape Class Patrol Vessel project is progressing at a steady pace. We will deliver First of Class in March, with follow-up ships delivered every 4 months thereafter.

“Our hard-working Austal team and supply chain partners continue to achieve increased efficiency and productivity, working with the Department of Defense to deliver new capabilities in support of Navy operational requirements. and further develop the national shipbuilding business,” Gregg said.

“Advanced capes for the Royal Australian Navy is just one of two major shipbuilding projects Austal continues to deliver this year – the second is the Guardian class. In total, Austal Australia will deliver nine warships without precedent to the Commonwealth of Australia in 2022,” he added.

Hastie said the advanced Cape-class patrol boats were a vital capability that would be used by the navy to continue to secure our borders and protect Australia’s sovereignty at sea.

“This is a great day for WA’s defense industry. Today marks another milestone in the government’s shipbuilding plan – further strengthening our sovereign defense industry capability and delivering the most great regeneration of our naval fleet since the Second World War,” he said.

“I was happy to launch this ship today. Building these ships here in Western Australia means a stronger defense force that will protect our borders and national security interests and create long-term local jobs.

The new advanced Cape Class Patrol Boats for the Royal Australian Navy include several upgrades that further extend the capability of the proven vessel and fleet; with modifications developed through the experience in service of ten Cape-class patrol boats already operating with the Navy and Australian Border Force throughout northern Australia.

The AU$324 million contract for the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat program (SEA1445-1), comprising six 58-metre vessels, was awarded to Austal Australia in May 2020 and directly employed around 400 people in Henderson, Australia. Western Australia, and hundreds more. through supply chain partners across Australia.