Austal has secured a new three-year contract to deliver sustainment work for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Cape-class patrol boats, Cape Fourcroy and Cape Inscription.

Under the deal, Austal will provide eight direct and 20 indirect jobs in local contractors and the company’s own facilities in the Cairns area.

Worth up to $18m, the sustainment activity will be carried out in addition to the work performed by the shipbuilder for the Australian Border Force.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: “The deployment of Austal’s patrol boats by the Commonwealth will allow export opportunities for Australia by effectively showcasing the vessel with a world-class navy.

“Austal is constantly pursuing opportunities for the Cape-class patrol boats and Pacific patrol boats to potential overseas customers.”

The 58m-long Cape-class patrol boats have been particularly designed to meet the specific border protection and maritime security requirements of the Australian Border Force and the RAN.

In December 2015, Austal entered a shipbuilding contract, worth $63m, with the National Australia Bank to build the two additional Cape-class patrol boats, which will be added to the fleet of eight existing vessels of the same class designed and constructed by the company.

In addition, the company has collaborated with Fassmer to bid for the $3bn offshore patrol vessel project.

Austal has also partnered with ASC Shipbuilding to provide a local Australian shipbuilding solution for the $35bn Future Frigate project.