In order to effectively respond to issues such as fisheries protection and conduct search and rescue, a fleet of 21 sleek, new Cat® powered Pacific Patrol Boats will boost maritime security cooperation across the South Pacific.
Sponsored by the Commonwealth’s Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP), the $305 million Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project comprises 21 steel monohull patrol vessels with improved seakeeping ability and long endurance. The fleet is being designed and constructed by Austal.
As a long-term client of Cat dealer Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA), Austal is an Australian shipbuilder and global defense prime contractor renowned for designing, constructing, and sustaining some of the world’s most advanced commercial and defense vessels. Over the last 30 years, Austal has delivered over 300 commercial and defense vessels for more than 100 operators in 54 countries.
The new Pacific Patrol Boats are being built in Austal’s Henderson shipbuilding yard in Western Australia for delivery to 12 Pacific Island nations, plus Timor-Leste, between 2018–2023.
The 12 Pacific Island nations include:
The all-new Guardian Class Patrol Boat is 39.5 meters long with a beam of 8 meters and a loaded draft of 2.5 meters. It can travel at 20 knots, and at 12 knots possesses a 3,000 nautical mile range. The vessel can accommodate up to 23 people.
Each of the vessels is powered by two proven Cat 3516C TTA marine engines—which are IMO Tier II compliant without any additional aftertreatment—each generating 2,000 bkW at 1,600 rpm and complemented by two ZF 76,000 gear boxes, two Cat C7.1 generator sets, a Cat C4.4 emergency generator set and a customized Cat MPC 800M FP.
The Cat marine engines provide efficient operation with:
Marine Excellence Center Manager, Energy Power Systems Australia
The control panels have daylight readable displays which can easily be configured to control or interface with a wide range of supplementary systems. The MPC 800M also uses modern fieldbus technology for maximum redundancy, minimum wiring, and full functionality in the event of a total failure of one of the electronic branches.
The vessels’ main armament is a 30mm caliber gun, and they are also armed with .50 caliber general-purpose machine guns on port and starboard sides.
Austal will provide direct support for these vessels for several years from Western Australia, and then through its service center in Cairns, Queensland—and having Caterpillar as a single supplier of multiple systems will be a great benefit for Austal’s in-service support (ISS) team.