21 Januari 2016
Australia is scheduled to induct two Cape-class patrol vessels by the second quarter of 2017. Vessels will replace two boats currently on loan from the Australian Border Force (photo : RAN)
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will operate two new Cape-class patrol vessels on order from Australian shipbuilder Austal by the second quarter of 2017, a Department of Defence (DoD) spokesperson has told IHS Jane's .
The vessels were ordered by the National Australia Bank under a AUD63 million (USD43 million) contract signed in December 2015. The boats will then be chartered by the DoD for a minimum term of three years and operated by the RAN to meet the service's maritime patrol requirements.
IHS Jane's reported in October 2015 that the Australian Border Force (ABF) has temporarily transferred two other Cape-class offshore patrol vessels to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to enable the navy to meet its border security operations commitments. The measure is being undertaken given the loss of HMAS Bundaberg in an August 2014 fire and the commencement of a structural remediation programme for the RAN's Armidale-class patrol boat fleet.
The two vessels on loan, Cape Byron , which was handed over to the RAN on 24 July 2015, and Cape Nelson , which was transferred on 1 October 2015, will be returned to the ABF by December 2016.
According to IHS Jane's Fighting Ships , the Cape-class patrol boat has an overall length of 57.8 m, a beam of 10.3 m, and a draught of 3 m. The platform is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C diesel engines and has a top speed of 25 kt and a standard range of 4,000 n miles at 12 kt. Each vessel has a complement of 18 and can accommodate two rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) that can be launched simultaneously for interdiction duties.