Austal launches 7th Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat

Austal Australia has successfully launched the 7th Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat (ECCPB) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at the company’s Henderson, Western Australia shipyard.


The vessel’s level of completion upon entering the water has set a new record for Austal. Austal explained that most of the commissioning work was completed in the assembly bay. This means that only a small percentage of the total vessel fit-out and commissioning process is required to take place alongside in the water.


The vessel, the future ADV Cape Solander, is the first of four additional ECCPBs that were ordered by Defence following delivery of the first in class, ADV Cape Otway, in March 2022. The four additional ECCPBs were ordered in two batches of two; the first in April 2022, and the second in November 2023. 


While the first eight vessels are or will be serving in border protection and constabulary roles, the final two will replace MV Seahorse Mercator as the RAN’s dedicated navigation training vessels


The ECCPBs were originally ordered in 2020 to bridge the gap between the phase out of the Armidale class patrol boats and the introduction of the Arafura class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). However, with the number OPVs slashed to six by the Independent Analysis into Navy’s Surface Combatant Fleet, the ECCPBs will now make up a significant portion of the RAN and Australian Border Force’s (ABF) combined 25-strong fleet of minor war vessels.









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