Austal announced the launch of the second in series Cape Class Patrol Boat (CCPB) during a ceremony at the company’s Australian Defence Facility in Henderson Western Australia on January 7th 2014. Exactly 1 year to the day after launching Cape st George, Cape Byron was launched some 4 weeks ahead of schedule.
Cape Byron is the second of eight 56-metre patrol boats that are being delivered to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACPBS) by Austal as Prime Contractor for the design, build and in service sustainment contract valued at approximately $330 million. A contract in which Austal is also using its in-house expertise to develop and integrate sophisticated electronic systems for command, control and communication.
The ceremony 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 25th January 2013. These were removed prior to the launch and will be presented to the boat, ACPBS 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 Customs and Border Protection in Qtr 2 2014.
Austal President and General Manager Mr Graham Backhouse said, “This special milestone represents a significant achievement by many people from both Commonwealth and Industry who have come together to work as a high performing collaborative team to make this possible. Cape Byron is a state of the art Maritime defence capability that will play a significant role in Operation Sovereign Borders, i.e. protecting Australia’s borders from multiple maritime threats, and 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 Customs and Border Protection and indeed Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat fleet.
Cape Byron’s launch represents the start of another busy year (2014) for our Australian Defence Facility in Henderson with her being the first of five Cape Class launches and three deliveries scheduled for this year. The overall program continues to be on schedule with full workforce levels increasing by over 100 in recent months to be on target for full production Qtr 2 2014. A workforce that we believe positions Austal well to provide additional state of the art Maritime defence capability to the Commonwealth of Australia either through more Cape Class vessels or indeed as an early replacement of the current Armidale Class Patrol Boats”.
Cape Class is a program of work that underpins Austal’s strategy as a global defence prime contractor of Ships, Systems and Support. It’s a program that has also enabled Austal to reposition and strengthen the Henderson facilities as a defence-focused operation. Along with key intermediate and deep level sustainment activities being performed in Henderson on both Cape and Armidale Class vessels, this total solution capability represents the future of the Australian business as Austal continues to expand and enhance the strategic industry capability necessary to meet the current and future defence needs of Australia and other nations.
Apart from the Cape Class Patrol Boats, Austal is prime contractor for two major defence projects – the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) – for the United States Navy.
Austal, January 7, 2014