Austal has successfully completed the detailed design review (DDR) for Australia's A$306m ($234.4m) Pacific patrol boat replacement (PPB-R) project.
The PPB-R project supports the improvement of sovereign shipbuilding capability in Australia in the lead up to the Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Frigate programmes for the Royal Australian Navy, which are slated to begin next year and in 2020, respectively.
Completion of the DDR within time and in accordance with the contracted schedule marks the conclusion of the design phase, and the beginning of the production phase of the PPB-R project.
Austal are now set carry out the production of 19 units of 40m steel Pacific patrol vessels in accordance with the contract awarded in May last year,
Austal PPB-R project manager Matthew Klingberg said: “Achieving DDR on a Commonwealth shipbuilding project is a significant milestone, particularly as this was achieved within eight months from the contract effective date.
“This was made possible by the dedicated efforts of both the Austal and Commonwealth teams, working together in an open and collaborative manner.”
The scope of the PPB-R project involves designing, development, supply, training and sustainment of the patrol boats, which is to be gifted by the Commonwealth of Australia to twelve Pacific Island nations as part of the country’s new Pacific maritime security programme.
Construction of the PPB-R project will begin in Western Australia in April, with deliveries slated to take place between 2018 and 2023.
Sustainment of the 19 new patrol vessels will be carried out by Austal from its facilities in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
Image: A computer-generated image of Austal’s Pacific patrol boat replacement vessel. Photo: courtesy of Austal.