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Austal has officially christened the second Cape-class patrol boat (CCPB) as Cape Byron, for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), at the company’s facility in Henderson, Western Australia.

The vessel, built under a $350m design, construct and in-service support contract awarded in August 2011, has already completed final fit-out and sea trials, with crew familiarisation to be executed in the following few weeks.

Western Australia Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Senator Michaelia Cash said: "Today, the government acknowledged a critical milestone in Australia’s strategic border security programme."

Powered by two Caterpillar 3516C main engines, the 57.8m-long patrol boat also integrates two ZF 9055A gearboxes and two fixed pitch propellers, in addition to a HRP 2001 TT 160kW bow thruster to boost manoeuvrability, which collectively assist in delivering a maximum speed of 25k and a range of 4,000nm at 12k.

Designed for their role in critical maritime law enforcement, the Cape-class vessels, with their increased size, enhanced surveillance technology and patrolling range, support marine unit officers.

"Today, the government acknowledged a critical milestone in Australia’s strategic border security programme."

With a capacity to accommodate a crew of 18, they also feature two electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS), a pair of gyro compasses, two differential global positioning systems (DGPS), a secure marine automatic identification system (AIS-S), an electro-optical sensor system (EOSS) and radars and voyage data recorder (VDR).

Data communication from the ship will be transferred over a very-high frequency (VHF), ultra-high frequency (UHF), using Satcom and Sea Boat’s situational awareness systems.

In addition to building Cape-class vessels for the ACBPS, Austal has also delivered two major defence vessel projects to the US Navy under the littoral combat ship and joint high-speed vessel programmes. The company is also constructing two 72m high-speed support vessels for an undisclosed Middle East customer.

Image: Austal’s second Cape-class patrol boat during its christening. Photo: courtesy of Austal.

Defence Technology