Today, the Government announces the Request for Tender (RFT) for the replacement – Australian-made – Pacific Patrol Boats under the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Project SEA3036 Phase 1.
This project represents a significant investment in Australian defence industry with the Australian-made patrol boats worth $594 million in addition to through life sustainment and personnel costs estimated at $1.38 billion over 30 years.
Building towards the release of the Defence White Paper, in December last year, the Government announced a plan that will allow for a sustainable naval shipbuilding industry that supports shipbuilding jobs. The Government recognises the significant value to our nation of a skilled naval shipbuilding workforce.
The current Pacific Patrol Boat Program is the centrepiece of the Australian Government’s engagement in the South Pacific.
As part of Australia’s continued commitment to maritime security in the Pacific region, this project involves the construction in Australia of up to 21 steel-hulled replacement patrol vessels.
With the existing Pacific Patrol Boats soon approaching their end of service life, the Government has committed to replacing the fleet with new Australian made vessels. This will assist Pacific Island countries to continue to take an active part in securing their own extensive Exclusive Economic Zones.
The replacement vessels will be larger and more capable than the current fleet. They will also have greater seakeeping ability, habitability and endurance, and will be updated for the contemporary operating environment.
Replacement patrol boats have been offered to all current participating states including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, as well as new member Timor-Leste.
These vessels will also continue to be complemented by a comprehensive program of training, maintenance and operational support for our regional partners.
The RFT will be an open tender for both the procurement and sustainment of the replacement vessels, along with sustainment of the current Pacific Patrol Boats until their end of life, as well as the new Tongan Landing Craft Medium.
Under the essential requirements of the RFT, the replacement vessels will be built in Australia, and be of steel hull construction.
The key requirements are:
- designed and constructed to commercial standards;
- simple and cost-effective to own, operate and maintain;
- weapon systems will not be fitted, but allowance made to military standard;
- speed of greater than 20 knots in top of Sea State Four;
- range of greater than 2,500 nautical miles at 12 knots with 20% burnable fuel remaining;
- mission duration of 20 days;
- length up to 40 metres;
- capable of operating to top of Sea State Four;
- accommodation for 19 crew with 23 berths; and
- the embarked Seaboat will be capable of speed of greater than 20 knots, operating to top of Sea State Four, and with a crew of 6 (8 crew ‘Desirable’).
Following this tender process, the Government is likely to make further decisions about this project nearing the end of 2015.
The RFT will be released by Defence on AusTender (www.tenders.gov.au) shortly.
Brad Rowswell (Minister Andrews’ Office) 0417 917 796
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999