Another milestone has been reached in Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program with a ceremonial keel laying for the first new Pacific Patrol Boat.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today attended the event at Austal’s dedicated Pacific Patrol Boat construction facility at Naval Base in Western Australia.
Austal advises the $306 million project will create more than 200 direct jobs and employ around 300 in the supply chain.
“Once constructed and tested, all 19 boats will be gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries as part of Australia’s new Pacific Maritime Security Program,” Minister Pyne said.
The countries will use the boats to conduct maritime surveillance and enforcement operations, such as combating illegal fishing.
“I opened the construction facility in March and laying this keel shows the Turnbull Government’s $89 billion naval shipbuilding program is on track.”
“This project demonstrates the vital role WA plays in delivering the capability requirements of the Australian Defence Force.”
This event follows Minister Pyne’s attendance at the first boat’s cutting steel ceremony at HD Plasma and Laser Cutting Services in April, one of the numerous subcontractors in the Perth region benefitting from the project.
The first boat is scheduled to be completed in October 2018 and then handed over to Papua New Guinea.