Guardian Class - Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (SEA3036)
Austal Pacific Patrol Boat 40
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (SEA3036) 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 new patrol boats are significantly larger and more capable than the current vessels, allowing greater maritime security capability. The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program broadens and further strengthens the region’s capability to respond to issues such fisheries protection, trans-national crime, and search and rescue through the provision of patrol boats to Pacific Island nations.
A Cairns-based tender, notionally titled the 'Cairns Solution', was led by prime contractor Teekay Shipping (Australia), subcontracting to Damen for technical expertise, BSE Maritime Solutions for the build, and Norship Marine for its support capability. Queensland already has a strong skills base in the region, gained from supporting the current fleet of patrol boats and the resources sector, so the 'Cairns Solution' will draw upon this expertise. In November 2015, the Cairns-based consortia was shortlisted as one of two teams in the final bid for the project.
Following its 18 April selection as preferred tenderer for the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program (Sea 3036), Austal Ships has signed a $280 million (ex GST) contract with the Commonwealth to build and sustain the 19 steel-hulled vessels. 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. This contract required Austal to source a range of materials, components, systems and services from Australian industry. The Contract (Acquisition) is valued at approximately $300 million over 7 years with approximately $111.5 million of Australian contract expenditure and approximately $106.1 million of work to be performed by Australian local Industry.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program (PPBR) comprises steel hull vessels designed and constructed by Austal for delivery to 13 Pacific Island nations from late 2018 to 2023. The all new Guardian Class Pacific Patrol Boat is based on Austal’s proven patrol boat design platform, originally developed for the Australian Customs Service (now Australian Border Force) and is 39.5 meters long with a beam of 8 metres and a loaded draft of 2.5 metres. It is capable of traveling at 20 knots and at 12 knots possesses a 3,000 nautical mile range. Each vessel can accommodate 23 people. The 21 Guardian Class vessels are under construction at Austal's dedicated Pacific Patrol Boat Production Facility at Naval Base, in Western Australia and will be supported by Austal's service center located in Cairns, Queensland.
The first of the 21 new boats, named Guardian Class, was launched on 30 May 2018 at Henderson in Western Australia. According to Austal, the Guardian Class PPB project supports around 400 jobs either directly or indirectly or through the supply chain. According to the Minister for Defence industry's media release, construction of the second and third vessels is underway and scheduled for delivery at approximately three-month intervals from late 2018 until 2023.68 This timeline is ahead of the schedule in Naval Shipbuilding Plan — which anticipated the delivery of the first PPB to occur in 2019 and the final boat expected in 2025.
Austal celebrated 30 years of successfully delivering shipbuilding programs on 09 August 2018 by commencing the sea trials for the first Guardian Class, Pacific Patrol Boat. The PPB-R program will see 21 Austal designed and built patrol boats gifted by the Commonwealth to the Pacific Island Nations. Papua New Guinea (should receive four boats), Solomon Islands (two boats), Fiji (two ), Federated States of Micronesia (two), Tonga (two), Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Cook Islands (one boat each). At the same time, a separate contract was also issued worth 25 million Australian dollars for technical support for the ordered 19 boats during the first seven years of operation. In April 2018, the Australian government issued Austal an additional contract worth $ 29.7 million for the construction of two more PPB-R boats for East Timor.
“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,”
“For 30 years, from our global headquarters in Western Australia we have 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.
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