Austal has launched the third-in-series Cape Class Patrol Boat (CCPB) at the company’s Australian Defence Facility in Henderson, Western Australia on 5 May 2014.
Cape Nelson is the third of eight 56-metre patrol boats that are being delivered to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) by Austal as prime contractor for a design, build and in-service sustainment contract, valued at approximately $330 million. Under the contract, Austal is also using its in-house expertise to develop and integrate sophisticated electronic systems for command, control and communication.
The launch marked the first time the boat has been lowered into the water. Following maritime tradition, specially minted coins were placed under the keel block of the vessel as a symbol of good fortune on 13 August 2013. These were removed prior to the launch and will be presented to the boat, ACBPS and Austal at a later date. The boat was then lowered into the water using Austal’s slipway facility.
With the vessel in the water, Austal is on target to achieve full vessel completion and sea trials prior to an official naming ceremony and final delivery to ACBPS in Q3 CY2014.
Austal President and General Manager Graham Backhouse said:” Cape Nelson is a state of the art maritime defence capability that will play a significant role in protecting Australia’s borders from multiple maritime threats. It has been designed to have greater range, endurance and flexibility – as well as enhanced capability to operate in more severe sea conditions and across longer range – than the current fleet of Customs and Border Protection vessels and indeed Royal Australian Navy Armidale Patrol Boat fleet”.
Press Release, May 5, 2014, Image: Austal