Austal has delivered the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first evolved Cape-class patrol boat (CCPB), named as Cape Otway.

This marks a major milestone in the Australian Government’s programme to build evolved CCPBs.

In 2020, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) awarded a A$324m contract to Austal to build six evolved CCPBs for RAN.

The evolved vessels feature a 58m aluminium monohull along with advanced sustainment intelligence systems.

The evolved CCPBs can accommodate up to 32 people and offer enhanced capabilities and larger amenities.

Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said: “The six vessels will boost navy’s current patrol boat capability as we await the introduction into service of the newer and larger Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels. We are now one boat closer to establishing that vital capability.”

Dutton added: “The new patrol boats will also be the first vessels to be maintained at Regional Maintenance Centre Northeast, in Cairns. This further develops sovereign sustainment capability and promotes Australian industry involvement.”

Simultaneously, RAN chief vice-admiral Michael Noonan announced the names of the six evolved CCPBs.

The remaining five patrol boats will be named Australian Defence Vessels (ADV) Cape Peron, Cape Naturaliste, Cape Capricorn, Cape Woolamai and Cape Pillar.

Vice admiral Noonan said: “Each name continues the lineage of the Cape class patrol boats, all named after significant Capes around Australia.

“The first boat, Australian Defence Vessel Cape Otway, will be home-ported at HMAS Cairns by mid-2022. It will be joined by another evolved Cape class patrol boat and four Arafura class offshore patrol vessels by the end of 2028.”

Furthermore, the Australian DoD will also receive the second evolved Cape-class patrol boat in July 2022.

Earlier this month, the RAN’s second evolved CCPB was launched at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

The other four vessels are under construction with plans to deliver the last vessel by May 2023.