Austal Australia has officially handed over the third of eight evolved Cape-class patrol boat (ECCPB) to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). 

The vessel is designated as ADV Cape Naturaliste (316).

The latest milestone comes three months after the RAN accepted the delivery of its second ECCPB ADV Cape Peron.

The first vessel, ADV Cape Otway, was delivered in March this year.

Construction of the vessel under the ECCPB Project SEA1445-1 is being carried out at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

To deliver the project, the company has currently employed around 400 people directly, while engaging over 300 supply chain partners across the country.

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The company is expected to complete the delivery of all the eight vessels by mid-2024.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said: “Austal has now delivered three Evolved Capes to the RAN since the contract was signed in May 2020.

“Our productivity has improved with each new vessel, to the point where Austal is launching a new Evolved Cape after just 12 months construction.

“The fourth vessel, the future ADV Cape Capricorn, is alongside now and we have four more ECCPB at various stages of production, in Henderson.

“With continued support of our trusted supply chain partners, Austal shipbuilding team is well on track to deliver all eight ECCPB to the Navy by mid-2024, on schedule.”

The new evolved Cape-class vessels feature advanced life systems and sustainment intelligence systems to deliver improved capabilities to the RAN.

The 58m aluminium monohull boats can be deployed to undertake a variety of operations at the sea.

Recently, Austal Australia won a contract to deliver an additional Guardian-class vessel to the Australia under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project SEA3036-1.