Chapter Six - Defence Materiel Organisation > Approved Major Capital Equipment Projects > SEA 1444
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Approved Major Capital Equipment Projects

Top 30 Projects by 2004-05 Expenditure

SEA 1444 Armidale-class Patrol Boat

Prime contractor: Defence Maritime Services (ships being built by Austal Ships)

This project will deliver 14 Armidale-class patrol boats to replace the ageing Fremantle-class patrol boats. The patrol boats will make a critical contribution to coastal surveillance and enforcement capability.

The contract was signed on 17 December 2003, and will provide a capability for the Navy to achieve up to 3,000 available days per year for Coastwatch and ADF support operations, plus a surge capacity of up to 600 additional available days per year. The new boat is larger than the Fremantle-class and capable of operating in higher sea states.

Additional funding, in line with the Government agreeing an extra two vessels to patrol the North West Shelf, has been endorsed. These extra vessels will be built after the current 12 boats, with delivery commencing in mid-2007.

The first Armidale-class Patrol Boat was launched and named in January 2005 and delivered in Darwin on 17 May 2005, following harbour, sea and mission trials in accordance with the contract schedule. This vessel was commissioned as HMAS Armidale on 24 June 2005 and has now entered service.

Upgrades to facilities in Darwin to accommodate the new vessels have commenced, with the wharf extension scheduled for completion at the end of 2005. The remainder of the work, including stand-by crew facilities and extension to ship lift, is to be completed in 2006.

Relocation of project staff from Canberra to Darwin has commenced. This will allow collocation of staff with the Patrol Boat Force Element Group.

Actual expenditure was lower than the revised estimate due to withholding of a component of the acceptance payment, which is subject to rectification of defects and a delay in payments associated with Government furnished equipment.

This project contributes to Navy capability.

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