THE first of 21 Pacific Patrol Boats (PPB) was launched yesterday at Austal Ships.
The ‘launch’, which was via road on the back of a semi-trailer, comes two years after the inception of the fleets build in Henderson.
The first vessel is scheduled for delivery to Papua New Guinea in late October.
Austal chief executive David Singleton said it was a proud moment for the company and its workers.
“Austal is proud to be delivering the PPB-R program for the Commonwealth. This is the first steel ship program we have managed and we are doing so on time and on budget” he said.
“It is a testament to the skills, experience and management of the Austal PPB-R team that the first vessel has met its project milestones for design and build, on schedule.
“The overall construction program is well underway with vessels two and three in build and the fourth vessel commencing construction in June.
“This program will support 200 direct jobs at Austal and a further 200 indirect jobs in the broader Australian industry in a program that now extends out to late 2023.
“This employment is in addition to several hundred jobs at Austal created by a number of large commercial export contracts currently under construction and planned for construction at our Henderson shipyard.”
The Pacific Patrol Boat contract was awarded to Austal in May 2016 worth $305 million for the original 19 vessels and associated service support, with a further contract awarded in April for two additional vessels for $29.7 million.