Minister for Defense, Senator the Hon Robert Hill, announced that Austal Ships
, in conjunction with joint tender partner, Defense Maritime Services
(DMS), has been short-listed to design, construct and provide through-life service for the Royal Australian Navy
’s new patrol boats, due to replace the existing Fremantle class patrol boats.
If ultimately successful, Austal’s role in the SEA 1444 project will be the design and construction of the patrol boats, while DMS will provide logistic and maintenance support through the operational life of the vessels, in addition to training of naval crews.
Austal Ships’ managing director, Bob McKinnon, said Austal’s inclusion on the short-list was a reflection of the company’s worldwide success with both commercial and military vessels.
“With Defence Maritime Services we have proven skills, knowledge and experience to deliver a patrol and surveillance solution to the Royal Australian Navy,” McKinnon said.
Chairman of DMS and managing director of P&O Maritime Services, Ross Brewer said DMS has an existing infrastructure in place that supports the maintenance of a wide range of Naval and DMS craft.
This was established following the success P&O Maritime Services and Serco achieved in winning a ten year contract to provide Port Services and Support Craft to the RAN.
“We are able to offer a low risk, proven solution for the through life logistic and maintenance support of the replacement Patrol Boats,” Brewer said.
In 1999, Austal built eight Bay Class patrol vessels for Australian Customs through a contract completed six months ahead of schedule and under budget. The vessels provide the Australian Customs Service with a highly effective maritime interdiction tool.
Austal recently achieved an Australian first in delivering a high speed Theatre Support Vessel to the US Military Sealift Command for use by the United States Marine Corps.