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Australian Navy Commissions Newest Cape-Class Patrol Boat

Shipbuilding contractor Austal has delivered ADV Cape Pillar, the Royal Australian Navy’s sixth Evolved Cape-Class Patrol Boat (ECCPB), at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia.

The vessel is scheduled to conduct peacekeeping missions in Australia’s waters, playing a critical role in safeguarding national security.

ADV Cape Pillar is the third ECCPB commissioned this year, after ADV Cape Capricorn in February and ADV Cape Woolamai in June.

Two more boats of the same class are expected to be delivered in 2024 as part of a 448-million Australian dollar ($284 million) deal between Austal and the navy. Austal’s Henderson shipyard currently houses the ships under construction.

“Austal Australia continues to employ approximately 400 people (directly) in Western Australia and is engaging more than 300 supply chain partners across Australia, to deliver the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Project (SEA1445-1) for the Royal Australian Navy,” a statement from the contractor reads.

An Evolved Sea Force

The Evolved boat variants were designed with improved quality of life, fitted with updated intelligence systems, and a larger crew capacity, from 22 to 32 people.

The ECCPBs are set to replace the navy’s Armidale-class patrol fleet, which began its active decommissioning in 2021.

The contract to design the patrol boats was the largest Australian vessel construction program awarded to Austal. Originally slated for a six-boat deal amounting to 324 million Australian dollars ($205 million), two more ships were added to the order, totalling 124 million Australian dollars ($79 million).

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