Austal has launched the fifth of eight Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat (ECCPB) being developed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The vessel was launched at the company’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

The future patrol boat has been named ADV Cape Woolamai (318), derived from the headland of south-eastern tip of the Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia.

The RAN has followed similar lineage of naming vessels after key capes of Australia for all the ECCPBs.

The latest milestone builds on a year-long effort by Austal to construct the ship.

All the eight 58m-long ECCPBs will be used for delivering enhanced border protection capabilities to the RAN fleet.

Each of the vessel features a wide range of improved functionalities, including advanced sustainment intelligence systems and better-quality life systems that will help the RAN in countering existing and emerging threats at the sea.

RAN Patrol Boats head and Ships specialist rear admiral Wendy Malcolm said: “The evolved CCPBs will form an integral part of Australia’s maritime surveillance and protection strategy and will help detect, deter and respond to threats in our exclusive economic zone.

“These vessels will be able to combat the full range of border security threats. They can identify, track and intercept an extended range of vessels in the maritime domain in a variety of weather conditions.”

According to Malcolm, this class of boats will be deployed to ‘ease and de-risk’ the RAN’s efforts for transitioning from the Armidale-class vessels to the improved capability of the Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels.

The new fleet is also expected to make a significant contribution in safeguarding the country’s immigration, customs, fisheries and drug law enforcement operations.

Recently, Austal delivered the fourth ECCPB, named ADV Cape Capricorn (317), to the RAN.