Australian shipbuilding firm Austal has announced that the country is ordering two additional Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (ECCPB) to bolster its maritime surveillance capabilities.
The announcement was made after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and defense representatives visited the company’s Henderson Western Australia shipyard.
Valued at $124 million, the two new vessels will be manufactured and delivered in addition to the six ECCPBs ordered earlier by the Australian Department of Defence for the Royal Australian Navy.
Last month, Austal delivered its first ECCPB, the ADV Cape Otway, despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Austal is scheduled to deliver eight patrol boats to the Royal Australian Navy by 2024.
The Evolved Cape-Class Patrol Boat
An “evolved” version of Austal’s Cape-class Patrol Boat platform, the ECCPB is a “benchmark” naval vessel designed to perform multiple roles for border forces, coast guard, and naval fleets.
The 58-meter (190 feet) mono-hull vessel can operate in moderate sea conditions (sea state 4) and sail up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers/4,603 miles) before having to refuel.
The boat can also carry 32 crew members and travel at a speed of 26 knots (48 kilometers/29.9 miles per hour).
The ECCPB has undergone enhancements to ensure that those who operate it have connectivity to the outside world regardless of the operating environment.
“The Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats will be utilized for a wide variety of constabulary and naval missions and play a critical role in Australia’s national security, as a high-performing, reliable and effective maritime asset for the Royal Australian Navy,” Austal explained.