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AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS: The Cape crusaders

Austal has launched another Cape class patrol boat destined for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) at their main facility in Henderson, Western Australia. Cape Jervis is the fifth of eight 58m aluminium monohulls being provided for the ACBPS as part of a A$330 million design, build and maintenance contract awarded in August 2011.

Similar in appearance and size to the Royal Australian Navy’s often-maligned Armidale class patrol boats, the unarmed Capes have greater range and endurance, as well as being able to operate in more severe sea conditions than the current ACBPS fleet of 38m Bay class vessels, which are nearing the end of their planned operational life.

Designed for unsupported patrols of up to 28 days, out to the full extent of the Australia’s 200nm Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Cape class will carry out the full gamut of maritime security duties. All eight are to be operational by late 2015.

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