Austal launches Pacific Patrol Boat construction facility in WA

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Construction of the 19 vessels will start in late April at the new facility. (Austal)

Austal has welcomed Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne to officially open the company’s new Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement shipbuilding facility in the suburb of Naval Base, Western Australia, marking the commencement of its steel naval shipbuilding capability.

Austal chief executive officer David Singleton said the Pacific Patrol Boats project is estimated to create up to 207 jobs across production, project management, services and support from Perth to Cairns.

“It is worthy of note that this facility was originally built to service the mining boom, and it has now been transformed to support what I anticipate to be a shipbuilding boom here in WA,” Singleton said.

Following the recent completion of the detailed design review, construction of the 19 vessels will start in late April at the new facility, with deliveries scheduled from 2018 to 2023. Sustainment of the fleet of patrol boats will be carried out by Austal from facilities in Cairns.

“The opening of this new production facility demonstrates Austal’s commitment to the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project,” Minister Pyne said, ahead of the WA state election on March 11.

“Importantly, Austal has advised the $306 million project will create up to 207 jobs; it is a visual reminder of how WA defence industry is growing and continues to play a vital role in the future of the Australian Defence Force.”

The vessels will be handed to the Australian Government once tested, and subsequently gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries.