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Australia Orders Two More Evolved Cape Patrol Boats

Shipbuilding company Austal has received a contract extension to develop two more Evolved Cape-class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy.

The 157 million Australian dollar ($102.9 million) award is part of Canberra’s continuing patrol fleet expansion to enhance its maritime surveillance assets.

Once delivered, the latest order will bring the navy’s number of Evolved Cape vessels to 10.

‘Adding Greater Capability’

Australia’s decision to integrate Evolved Capes into its naval force was announced in 2015 following the discovery of technical issues with the service’s older Armidale-class patrol boats.

Canberra then signed an agreement with Austal to design and supply six Evolved Capes in 2020. Two years later, Austal received another contract to deliver two additional boats. The 2022 order, including the first six vessels, is scheduled for completion this year.

“These additional Evolved Capes, designed and constructed by Austal in Henderson, Western Australia, are helping us to retain and build our sovereign, naval shipbuilding workforce and continue to engage supply chain partners from across Australia,” Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said.

“The Evolved Capes are also enhancing the Navy’s operations throughout Northern Australia, adding greater capability for maritime surveillance and border patrols, as part of the ongoing Operation Sovereign Borders mission.”

ADV Cape Pillar, Australia's newest Evolved Cape-Class Patrol Boat, is seen docked in a pier. Its hull is colored grey, with the numbers "319" painted in white on the side of the bow.
ADV Cape Pillar is scheduled to conduct peacekeeping missions in Australia’s waters, playing a critical role in safeguarding national security. Photo: Austal

The Evolved Cape Patrol Boats

Austal’s Evolved Cape patrol boats were designed from its initial Cape-class product line.

Each upgraded ship has a 10.3-meter (33.8-foot) beam and an overall length of 57.8 meters (190 feet).

It has enhanced voice and data communication systems, a satellite communication network, modernized integrated bridge systems, and onboard navigation technologies.

An Evolved Cape can carry and deploy up to two smaller Gemini boats and accommodate up to 32 personnel.

The platform is powered by two main engines, two propellers, and two gearboxes for a top speed of 25 knots (29 miles/46 kilometers per hour) and a range of more than 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers/4,600 miles).

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