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Cape Class Patrol Boats, Australia




Key Data


Cape Class Patrol Boats (CCPBs) are being built by Australian ship builder Austal for the country's Customs and Border Protection Service. The new vessels will replace the ageing fleet of Bay Class patrol boats.

The Australian Government approved the funds for the replacement of Bay Class fleet in the 2010-11 Budget. The customs and border protection issued a request for tenders in July 2010. Austal was selected as a preferred bidder in June 2011.

Austal was awarded a $350m contract in August 2011 for eight new Cape Class patrol boats. Under the contract, Austal will provide design, construction and in-service support for the vessels.

The keel for the first Cape Class patrol boat was laid in June 2012 at Henderson shipyard in Western Australia. The vessel was launched in January 2013 and was named as Cape St George in March 2013. Keel-laying of the second vessel was hosted in January 2013 and the vessel is under construction. The keel for the third Cape Class patrol boat was laid in August 2013 and the entire fleet is scheduled to be operational by September 2015.

The Cape Class patrol boats will be named after eight capes in Australia: Cape St George, Cape Byron, Cape Nelson, Cape Sorell, Cape Jervis, Cape Leveque, Cape Wessel and Cape York.

Cape Class missions

"Austal was awarded a $350m contract in August 2011 for eight new Cape Class patrol boats."

The Cape Class patrol boats will be deployed across the Australian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to conduct security and surveillance operations.

The fleet will prevent unauthorised maritime access, piracy, maritime terrorism, marine pollution, illegal foreign fishing, unlawful import or export and illegal activity in protected areas.

The fleet will be operated by the Border Protection Command to support its various partner agencies such as the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Federal Police, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

CCPBs design and features

The Cape Class patrol boats will incorporate a monohull design. The vessels will be equipped with high-degree of surveillance technology.

"The Australian Government approved the funds for the replacement of Bay Class fleet in the 2010-11 Budget."

Each boat will allow the simultaneous launch of two high capacity response tenders (7.3m Gemini sea boats) to carry out rescues.

The patrol boats will be fitted with a motion control system for improved passenger comfort. The system will consist of two roll fins and two trim flaps. The vessels can operate in more rigid sea conditions and travel longer distances than the current customs' fleet.

The Cape Class will be provided with gun mounts to install deck mounted machine guns.

The Cape Class boat will have an overall length of 57.8m, beam of 10.3m and a draft of 3m. Each ship can complement a crew of 18. Accommodation facilities are provided for government officials and customs and border protection officers.

The Cape Class boats are classified under Det Norske Veritas society.

Navigation and communication of Austal's patrol boats

The boats will have two electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS), two gyro compasses, two differential global positioning systems (DGPS), a secure marine automatic identification system (AIS-S), electro-optical sensor system (EOSS), radars and voyage data recorder (VDR).

The secure or non-secure voice and data communication will be transferred over a very high frequency (VHF), ultra-high frequency (UHF), Satcom and Sea Boat's situational awareness systems.

Propulsion of the customs and border protection ships

The Cape Class patrol boats will be powered by two Caterpillar 3516C main engines. Each engine delivers a power output of 2,525kW at 1,800rpm.

The propulsion system will also integrate two ZF 9055A gearboxes and two fixed pitch propellers. The ship will be fitted with a HRP 2001 TT 160kW bow thruster for high manoeuvrability.

The propulsion system will provide a maximum speed of 25kt and a range of 4,000nm at 12kt.

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CCPB will replace the Bay Class in the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
The fleet of Cape Class Patrol Boats built by Austal will be delivered by 2015.
The fleet of CCPBs will have a maximum speed of 25kt and a range of 4,000nm at 12kt.