Australia. Final Austal Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat named Glenelg

Monday, 08 October 2007

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The successful completion of Australia’s landmark 14-vessel Armidale Class Patrol Boat fleet was celebrated during an historic naming ceremony held at Austal’s Henderson facility today.

Austal designed and constructed all 14 vessels during the past four years, so the event was a major milestone in the company’s 20 year history, which now includes the delivery of state-of-the-art patrol boats destined to protect Australia’s waters for decades to come.

The naming ceremony included an address by Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, VADM Russ Shalders, and Federal Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator David Johnston, and saw the final, 56 metre, all-aluminium monohull officially named “Glenelg”.

The vessel was named in recognition of the first “HMAS Glenelg”, which was one of 60 Australian minesweepers built during World War II.

More than 200 dignitaries attended the ceremony, including senior figures from the Royal Australian Navy, State and Federal Government and local industry.

With a total contract value of approximately $550 million, the fleet will primarily carry out surveillance, interception, investigation, apprehension and the escort to port of vessels suspected of illegal fisheries, quarantine, customs or immigration offences.

Austal, in partnership with Prime and service contractor Defence Maritime Services (DMS), won the contract for 12 Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boats in 2003. The first vessel was delivered less than two years after signing the contract, with the remaining vessels meeting a similarly tight delivery schedule. An additional two patrol boats were ordered in 2006 for a total of 14 vessels.

Austal Executive Chairman John Rothwell said the naming ceremony was a significant milestone for the company, having successfully provided the Royal Australian Navy with a state-of-the-art Patrol Boat capability.

“This project has demonstrated Austal’s ability to design, build and deliver an important fleet of naval ships on budget, on time and with modern capabilities,” Mr Rothwell said.

“These modern, capable and stylish vessels have, without doubt, enhanced our credibility in the eyes of foreign navies,” he said.

“For our staff, it is a very proud moment, not only because each one was involved in meeting the demanding delivery schedule, but also because the pride of Austal’s fleet is now protecting Australia’s waters.”

The Armidale Class Patrol Boats have already received positive reviews from serving members of the Royal Australian Navy, including Commanding Officer, LCDR Mark Taylor who described the Austal-built  “HMAS Wollongong” as like a “Ferrari sports car”.

The fleet, which replace the ageing Fremantle Class Patrol Boats, will be principally based in the ports of Darwin and Cairns, primarily operating within Australia’s Marine Jurisdictional Zones.

Image: "Glenelg" Naming Ceremony

Austal Executive Chairman John Rothwell with Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, VADM Russ Shalders, during the Naming Ceremony for "Glenelg"

Last Updated ( Monday, 08 October 2007 )