Austal has launched the second of six evolved Cape-class patrol boats (CCPB) being constructed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The event took place at the company’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia (WA).

Austal has started preparing the second CCPB for sea trials. It is scheduled for delivery to the RAN later this year.

Currently all the six vessels are under various stages of construction.

Once operational, the six CCPBs will support the RAN as patrol platforms until the Armidale-class offshore patrol boats enter service.

The boats will be deployed to conduct ‘constabulary duties’ and border protection mission.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The vessel’s launch was a demonstration of the Coalition Government’s ongoing commitment to its continuous naval shipbuilding programme.

“I am proud to see Australian and in particular West Australian industry delivering our future naval capability. We are also providing significant opportunities to workers both locally and in the broader Australian economy.”

In 2020, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) awarded the contract to Austal Ships to build and deliver six CCPBs.

She added: “The Evolved Cape Class project is worth about $334m and directly supports around 400 jobs that provide benefits throughout Austal’s supply chain.

“This ensures continued employment of Australian shipbuilders and provides positive flow-on effects for small and medium Australian businesses, crucial to the success of sovereign naval shipbuilding.”

The 58m-long monohull design boats can accommodate 32 crew members.

The first evolved Cape-class boat was launched in October 2021 and the remaining four vessels will be delivered at an interval of four months each.

The last vessel will be delivered by late 2023.