The national shipbuilding program has achieved a major milestone with the cutting of steel for the first replacement Pacific Patrol Boat in Western Australia, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has declared.
Minister Pyne attended the ceremony at HD Plasma & Laser Cutting Services in Bibra Lake, which marks the start of the $89 billion shipbuilding program.
HD Plasma & Laser Cutting Services has been contracted by Austal for the supply, transport, storage and cutting of the Australian-manufactured steel plate.
With the detailed design review and plate-cutting delivered on schedule, Austal is on track to deliver the first of 19 patrol boats in late 2018, the company stated.
Austal’s build strategy includes a dedicated shipbuilding facility, sustainment operations based in Cairns and an Australian supply chain including more than 325 companies nationwide.
“In an exciting development, Austal has advised it is currently working on an export opportunity in Asia for the [Pacific Patrol Boat],” Minister Pyne said. “This demonstrates the power of a continuous shipbuilding program to enable innovation and exports.”