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January 7, 2015

Austal Launches Sixth Cape Class Patrol Boat


Another January Launch for Cape Class Program

Austal is pleased to announce the launch today of the sixth in-series Cape Class Patrol Boat (CCPB) at the company’s Australian Defence Facility in Henderson, Western Australia. The launch of Cape Leveque marks the third year in a row a CCPB has been launched in the first week of January; preceded by Cape St George (CCPB01) in 2013 and Cape Byron (CCPB02) in 2014.

Cape Class Patrol Boat - Cape Leveque being launched

Cape Leveque is the sixth of eight 58-metre patrol boats that are being delivered to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) by Austal as Prime Contractor under 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 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 at a Keel Laying Ceremony on the 31st March 2014 attended by then Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, MP. The coins were removed prior to the launch and will be presented to the boat, ACBPS and Austal at a later date. The boat was 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 mid 2015.

Meanwhile the remaining three Cape Class vessels are at various stages of construction and will be delivered progressively through to end of 2015.

Austal Australia President Graham Backhouse said: “The launch of Cape Leveque, again in accordance with a demanding production schedule is great testament to the productivity and efficiency of our workforce. The CCPB Program continues at pace and continues to demonstrate Austal’s capabilities of delivering in accordance with requirements on time and on budget. This capability is an important component of Austal’s strategy of being the partner of choice for Governments and competitive global Defence Prime Contractor that designs and constructs maritime assets, integrates systems and provides ongoing and effective through life support 24/7.”

Cape Leveque 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 the Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat fleet.

Apart from the Cape Class Patrol Boats, Austal is prime contractor for three major defence Programs: the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) Programs for the United States Navy and two High Speed Support Vessels (HSSV) for the Royal Navy of Oman.


Project Background

Austal was awarded the contract for the design, construction and through-life support of the Cape Class patrol boats for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service in August 2011. The eight 58 metre aluminium monohulls are due to be delivered between March 2013 and August 2015.

The support contract extends for a minimum period of eight years and encompasses a full range of intermediate and depot level maintenance activities. Further options can be exercised by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for In-Service Support for the life of the Cape Class Patrol Boat Fleet.

The Cape Class Patrol Boats will have greater range, endurance and flexibility in responding to maritime security threats than the current fleet.

These vessels will also have enhanced capability to operate in higher sea states and survive in more severe conditions.

The Cape Class Patrol Boats will be able to:

Undertake 28 day patrols;

Sail 4,000 nautical miles before having to refuel;

Combat the full range of maritime security threats;

Carry a larger crew to more effectively and safely manage boarding operations;

Identify, track and intercept an extended range of threats in the maritime domain and gather intelligence and store evidence for matters that may proceed to the courts; and

Launch two Tender Response Vessels simultaneously.

Customs and Border Protection patrol boats may be deployed according to aerial surveillance, community reports and/or radar sightings.

They may be used to:

Counter people, drug and weapons smuggling;

Apprehend foreign fishing vessels;

Gather information and intelligence;

Monitor environmental pollution; and

Assist management of offshore nature reserves and marine parks.

About Austal

Austal is a global defence prime contractor and a designer and manufacturer of defence and commercial ships. For more than 25 years Austal has been a leader in the design, construction and maintenance of revolutionary ships for Governments, Navies and Ferry operators around the world. More than 250 vessels have been delivered in that time.


Defence vessels designed and built by Austal include multi-mission combatants, such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the United States Navy and military high speed vessels for transport and humanitarian relief, such as the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) for the United States Navy and High Speed Support Vessel (HSSV) for the Royal Navy of Oman. Austal also designs, constructs, integrates and maintains an extensive range of patrol and auxiliary vessels for government agencies globally, including the Cape Class Patrol Boat Program for Australian Customs and Border Protection. Defence vessels are designed and constructed in Mobile, Alabama and in Henderson, Western Australia.

Austal has been at the forefront of the high speed ferry market since the early days of the industry. Our market leading designs of high performance aluminium vessels have long been at the heart of Austal’s research and development. Today, commercial ship construction is centred on our shipyard in Balamban, Philippines.


Austal has expertise in integrating complex systems into its ships, including ride control, ship management, and communication, sensors and weapon systems.


Austal provides a wide range of support services, including through life support, integrated logistics support, vessel sustainment and systems support. These services are delivered through our global support network in the USA, Australia, Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East together with partner shipyards worldwide.

Further Information

Contact: Austal
Phone: 61 8 9410 1111
Fax: 61 8 9410 2564


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