Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Austal Australia has been awarded an A$324 million contract to design and construct six evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (CCPBs) for the Royal Australian Navy.
These “Cape Class” patrol vessels are a bit unusual in size, slotting between typical “inshore” and “offshore” patrol vessels. We talked about this class when Trinidad and Tobago ordered two of them.
This is the information we had on the class earlier, compared to the Webber class.
- Displacement about twice as large: 700 tons vice 353
- Length: 57.8 m (190 ft) vice 46.8 m (154 ft)
- Beam: 10.3 m (34 ft) vice 8.11 m (26.6 ft)
- Draft: 3 m (9.8 ft) vice 2.9 m (9.5 ft)
- HP, less: 6,772 vice 11,600
- Speed, slower: 25 vice 28
- Crew, smaller: 18 vice 24
- Boats: two on davits vice one in stern ramp
- Range: greater, 4000 vice 2500 nautical miles
- Endurance: greater, 28 vice 5 days
These new ships will have some upgrades including accommodation for 32.
I was a little surprised by this procurement. Not too long ago, Australian Navy’s patrol force consisted of only thirteen 300 ton Armidale class patrol boats. These are being replaced by twelve 80 meter OPVs. None of these larger vessels have been completed so far. In the interim they leased two of these Cape Class. Now they are getting six more, improved versions. Presumably they will retain these even after the larger OPVs are completed, giving them 20 vessels.
I think these may be the Navy’s Super Hornet purchase. Pay off the six most clapped out Armidale as these come on line; as a gap filler for the Arafuras. Once all OPVs are commissioned they may transfer them to ABF or donate to PINs.
Status of the program. Some additional description. Plus update on the program to grant patrol boats to Pacific island nations. http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/2020/12/01/australian-patrol-boat/
First of the “Evolved” Cape Class starts sea trials. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/naval-news/naval-news-archive/2022/january/11206-austal-starts-sea-trials-of-the-first-evolved-cape-class-patrol-boat.html
“Austal Delivers The 1st Cape Class Patrol Boat To Royal Australian Navy”
This includes a nice comparison of this class with the preceding Amidale class and the Arafura class OPVs currently building. The displacement reported here may not be full load.
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“RAN takes delivery of 4th evolved Cape-class patrol ship” https://www.navaltoday.com/2023/02/13/ran-takes-delivery-of-4th-evolved-cape-class-patrol-ship/