The first of six new Evolved Cape class patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy was launched on September 22.
Built by Austal at Henderson in WA, the Evolved Cape class boats are similar to those vessels operated by Border Force – two of which have also been chartered by the RAN. The Cape class design is descended from the RAN’s Armidale class vessels, the first of which was decommissioned in March 2021.
“The Evolved Cape-class patrol boats will ensure the Royal Australian Navy is well-equipped to keep Australia’s borders safe,” Head Maritime Systems Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said in a release. “With all six Evolved Cape-class patrol boats to be built in WA, we are continuing to strengthen Australia’s naval capability while supporting local jobs.”
The new vessels were ordered in May 2020, and will bolster the RAN’s ranks following the commencement of the withdrawal of the Armidale class vessels, and the arrival of the first of 10 Arafura class offshore patrol vessels later this decade.
The names and commissioning dates of the new vessels are yet to be announced, but all vessels are due to be complete by late 2022.