Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project

The Client: Austal

A long-term key EPSA client, Austal is an Australian shipbuilder and global defence prime contractor renowned for designing, constructing and sustaining some of the world’s most advanced commercial and defence vessels. Over the last 30 years, Austal has delivered over 300 commercial and defence vessels for more than 100 operators in 54 countries.

The Background

The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (SEA3036) Project is part of the Commonwealth’s Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP) that aims to enhance practical maritime security cooperation across the South Pacific. The project broadens and further strengthens the region’s capability to respond to issues such fisheries protection, trans-national crime, and search and rescue through the provision of patrol boats to Pacific Island nations. The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program (PPBR) comprises 21 x 39.5 metre steel hull vessels designed and constructed by Austal for delivery to 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor-Leste between 2018-2023. The all new Guardian Class Patrol Boat is based on Austal’s proven 58-metre Cape Class patrol boat design platform originally developed for the Australian Border Force. The smaller Guardian class is 39.5 metres long with a beam of 8 metres and a loaded draft of 2.5 metres. It can travel at 20 knots, and at 12 knots possesses a 3,000 nautical mile range. Each vessel can accommodate 23 people.

The Requirement

Development of a customised throttle control system for a fixed pitch application to address challenges with the integration of an existing third-party system.

The Solution

The EPSA MEC team worked with the Cat® Propulsion division to develop a New Product Introduction (NPI) program project for the fix pitch propeller control system. The customed Cat® MPC800M FP was installed in each of the PPBR program’s 21 vessels to complement their two Cat® 3516C propulsion engines rated at 2000bkw, two ZF reduction gears, two Cat® C7.1 generator sets, and Cat® C4.4 emergency generator set.

The Results

Austal will initially support these vessels in service for several years and having Cat® as a single supplier of multiple systems will be hugely beneficial for Austal’s ISS team. Austal has also elected to change the design of the 58-metre Cape Class Vessels to now include the new customised MPC800M FP as a standard feature. It will be installed on two new vessels with a potential for a further six.