At a ceremony held on board Austal's next generation 102 meter Trimaran, Austal was awarded a contract for the design, construction and through-life support of 8 new patrol boats for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
This contract is Austal's second significant contract with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, having designed and constructed Customs' current fleet of eight Bay Class vessels, which have been in operation for over 10 years.
Austal will build the fleet of Cape Class Patrol Boats at its shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.
Construction of the first vessel is expected to commence in February 2012, with all 8 boats due to be delivered between March 2013 and August 2015.
The In-Service Support contract extends for a minimum period of 8 years and encompasses a full range of intermediate and depot level maintenance activities. Further options can be exercised by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for In-Service Support for the life of the Cape Class Patrol Boat Fleet.
The eight 57.8m Cape Class Patrol Boats will play a significant role in protecting Australia's borders from multiple maritime threats, and have been designed to have greater range, endurance and flexibility, as well as enhanced capability to operate in more severe sea conditions than the current Customs' fleet.
Austal Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, said Austal is proud to have been selected to work with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service once again, and that the contract is strategically important for the Western Australian company.
"The Cape Class contract cements Austal's position as the sole provider of Australia's Border Protection Command patrol vessels, and as a leading supplier of Australia's front line border security and surveillance capabilities. It also provides us with the opportunity to continue to work with our long standing partner, DMS Maritime, to provide in-service support for the new Cape Class fleet."
"This contract is significant for Austal in that it is a key first step in the repositioning of our Henderson facilities as a defense focused operation, and reaffirms our position as an emerging global defense prime contractor."
"Having already designed and built the Royal Australian Navy's Armidale Class Patrol Boats, today we are the prime contractor for these new Customs vessels as well as for two multi-ship US Navy programs; the Littoral Combat Ships and Joint High Speed Vessels."
"The Cape Class contract will also aid Austal in sustaining our Henderson workforce," he concluded.