Austal has announced the launch of the first of 21 Guardian Class, Pacific Patrol Boats (PPB-R), which the Australian shipbuilder is preparing for the Navy for delivery to Pacific Island nations.
The first vessel is scheduled for delivery to Papua New Guinea in late October 2018.
The Pacific Patrol Boat contract was awarded to Austal in May, 2016 worth AU$305 million for the original 19 vessels and associated in service support, with a further contract awarded in April, 2018 for two additional vessels for AU$29.7 million.
Announcing the launch today, the company said it had kept with the schedule and budget for the project.
“Austal is proud to be delivering the PPB-R program for the Commonwealth. This is the first steel ship program we have managed and we are doing so on time and on budget” Austal CEO, David Singleton said.
“It is a testament to the skills, experience and management of the Austal PPB-R team that the first vessel has met its project milestones for design and build, on schedule. The overall construction program is well underway with vessels two and three in build and the fourth vessel commencing construction in June.”
“This program will support 200 direct jobs at Austal and a further 200 indirect jobs in the broader Australian industry in a program that now extends out to late 2023. This employment is in addition to several hundred jobs at Austal created by a number of large commercial export contracts currently under construction and planned for construction at our Henderson shipyard.”
“We are already working on export opportunities leveraging off the Pacific Patrol Boats which will assist Australia to sustain its sovereign naval shipbuilding industry. Austal has already delivered over 40 Patrol Boats to international customers around the world,” Singleton said.