HENDERSON, Australia, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Australia's Customs and Border Protection Service is to receive eight new patrol boats constructed by Austal.
The contract for the boats -- the value of which wasn't given -- is Austal's second significant contract with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, having designed and constructed Customs' fleet of eight Bay Class vessels, which have been in operation for more than 10 years.
Under the new award, Austal will build the fleet of Cape Class Patrol Boats at its shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Construction of the first vessel is expected to start in February.
Delivery of the boats is expected to take place between March 2013 and August 2015.
"The Cape Class contract cements Austal's position as the sole provider of Australia's Border Protection Command patrol vessels, and as a leading supplier of Australia's front line border security and surveillance capabilities," said Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy.
"It also provides us with the opportunity to continue to work with our long standing partner, DMS Maritime, to provide in-service support for the new Cape Class fleet.
"This contract is significant for Austal in that it is a key first step in the repositioning of our Henderson facilities as a defense focused operation, and reaffirms our position as an emerging global defense prime contractor."