Australia launches its first Evolved Cape-class patrol boat

The first Evolved Cape-class patrol boat, with hull number 314, being launched. Photo c/o Defence Connect.

Australian shipbuilder Austal has launched the first Evolved Cape-class patrol boat being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The first boat with hull number 314, was launched at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australian on 22 September 2021.

Under a A$350 million (US$262 million) contract, Austal will deliver 6 Evolved Cape-class patrol boats to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), with the first ship expected to be handed-over by early 2022.

Austal confirmed that the five other ships of the class are in different phases of construction and will be delivered as per schedule.

The Evolved Cape-class patrol boats are improved versions of the Cape-class patrol boats built by Austal for the Australian Border Force, with improvements in operational capability, crew habitability, and enlarged crew capacity.

The RAN has ordered these boats as interim platforms to replace some of its Armidale-class patrol boats that will be retiring  within the next few years, to bridge the gap until the Arufara-class offshore patrol vessels are fully operational.

The ships are 58 meters long, has a crew of 32 officers and sailors, has a top speed of 26 knots,  a maximum range of 4,000 nautical miles, and an endurance of up to 28 days. The ship can safely operate up to Sea State 4.

Currently, the RAN has two Cape-class patrol vessels chartered from the National Australia Bank, to complement the Armidale-class patrol boats following availability issues.

[1] Australia Department of Defence
[2] Naval News
[3] Jane’s

Australia launches its first Evolved Cape-class patrol boat  Australia launches its first Evolved Cape-class patrol boat Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on October 25, 2021 Rating: 5

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