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Overseas designs to compete for Australian patrol boat order

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WEDNESDAY 16, MAY. 1976 NO 137/76



Designs from Britain and West Germany have been selected to compete

for a multi-million dollar order for new patrol craft for the Royal Australian

Navy. '

Although overseas designs have been selected, the new patrol boats,

with the exception of lead craft, will be built in Australia, giving an

important boost to the Australian shipbuilding industry.

The Minister for Defence, Mr D.J. Killen expects the first of the new

class to enter service in 1979·

The designs selected are from Brooke Marine of the United Kingdom

(PCF420) and Lurssen Werft of the Federal Republic of Germany (variant of the


The PCF420 is <42 metres long and displaces about 220 tonnes. It

is a development of the proven PCF375 patrol craft in service in the Persian

Gulf and Africa.

Patrol craft of the FFB45 type are in service with a number of

navies throughout the world. It is 45 metres long and displaces about 250


The main armament of both designs has yet to be selected, but it will

include a modern general purpose close range gun.

Both companies have a long history of successful patrol boat building.

The designs were chosen to compete for the Australian order after

evaluation of proposals from numerous Australian and overseas ship builders.

Both designs are variations of modern, well-proven designs, and are well suited

to Australia’s special requirements.

Mr Killen has stressed Australia's pressing need for additional v ~ΐ.

patrol craft. He said: 'Our present force of 12 Attack Class Patrol Boats

are hard pressed to patrol Australia's 20,000 kilometre coastline, and the

prospect of a 320 kilometre economic resources zone makes it imperative that

w: acquire more patrol boats with better range and sea-keeping qualities than

the present Attack Class'.

. . . / 2

The two designs will be evaluated following project definition

which would provide detailed information on the costs and capabilities of the


Following evaluation late this year a decision will be made on ' \

the craft to be acquired, numbers to be built and the Australian shipbuilder.

Australian shipbuilders under consideration are:

. Vickers Cockatoo Dockyard Pty Ltd;

. North Queensland Engineers and Agents Pty Ltd;

. Carrington Slipway Pty Ltd in association with de Havilland

Marine Ltd;

. Dillingham Shipyard (WA) Pty Ltd.

Project definition will provide costs for construction of 10 craft

and options for up to a further five.

Contract negotiations for project definition will commence in

Australia seen.


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