Two new Armidale-class patrol boats built by Western Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships have been handed over to the Royal Australian Navy at an official naming ceremony in Henderson today.
The boats, Wollongong and Childers, are the 10th and 11th vessels in a proposed fleet of 14 to replace the Fremantle Class, which have patrolled Australia’s waters for 25 years.
Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan congratulated Austal - the most successful Australian builder and exporter of fast passenger ferries, luxury yachts, patrol craft and other commercial vessels - on successfully completing the patrol boat project.
“Today’s launch gives us an opportunity to celebrate the company’s strong position in the international marine and defence industry,” Mr Logan said.
“It also provides further confirmation that WA’s marine and defence sector is an internationally competitive industry with some of the best people, technology and capabilities in the world.”
The Minister said the Carpenter Government was committed to ensuring the long-term future of shipbuilding in WA, demonstrated by the recent announcement of a $174million infrastructure upgrade to the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) at Henderson.
“The AMC is unfolding as one of WA’s great economic success stories,” he said.
“It is estimated that the upgrade, which includes a floating dock, will enable $3billion in naval contracts to be injected into the WA economy over the next 25 years.
“We are committed to diversifying the WA economy to ensure that it thrives beyond the current resources boom.
“Investing in facilities such as the AMC will give WA a competitive advantage, create opportunities for the marine industry, generate local jobs and benefit the community.
“Austal Ships is a great example of this innovative industry and I congratulate all involved in the building of these two vessels.”
Two of the 14 Armidale-class patrol boats will be based in Dampier to protect the strategic assets of the North West Shelf.
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