Austal has commenced sea trials for the first of the Guardian Class Pacific Patrol Boats, as part of the 21 vessels the company will be delivering to the government for the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project.
The PPB-R Project is part of the Commonwealth’s Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP) that aims to enhance practical maritime security cooperation across the South Pacific. The Commonwealth has committed to deliver the 21 patrol boats to 13 Pacific Island Nations, with first delivery starting from late 2018.
Austal is building the steel-hulled patrol boats at its shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.The sea trial on Thursday last week coincided with Austal’s 30th anniversary.
“We could not have had a better way to celebrate Austal’s 30th birthday, then by successfully meeting another milestone in the PPB-R program. The PPB-R program is a reflection of Austal’s 30 years in designing and building next-generation technologically advanced vessels. As a company the continuing investment in our operations, our facilities and our people has been critical to our success” Austal CEO, David Singleton said.
“Austal is exceptionally proud of the PPB-R program, this has expanded Austal’s capabilities enabling us to not only offer our customers aluminium, but also steel vessels. It is a testament to the skills, experience and management of the Austal team that every project milestone has been achieved on-time and on-budget,” he said.
Singleton said over the past 30 years, Austal has designed, constructed and delivered more than 300 commercial and defence vessels for more than 100 operators in 54 countries worldwide and established international operations in the United States, the Philippines and China.
“Our centre for excellence in maritime design, based at Henderson is central to Austal’s operation. The unique approach we take to vessel design and build processes is all driven from our team in Henderson. The PPB-R project is the latest demonstration of the Austal approach to efficient and reliable shipbuilding, and underpins our export success” he said.
The Pacific Patrol Boat contract was awarded to Austal in May, 2016 and is valued at AU$305 million for the original 19 vessels associated in service support. A further contract was awarded in April, 2018 for two additional vessels valued at AU$29.7 million.