Letter: Patrol boatsby Frank CollinsNews Weekly
, December 15, 2001
On the subject of new Patrol Boats for the RAN, your readers need to be aware that there are Australian companies other than Incat who can supply the types of replacement vessel Mr Lindsey speaks of (Letters, December 1).
One of these, WA-based Austal Ships, has a range of vessels with military application up to 125 metres in length and with speeds in excess of 40 knots. The US Marines have one of Austal’s 101-metre vessels under charter to assess its capability for the rapid deployment of troops, and negotiations are under way as to their long-term use of it. In addition, Austal has tendered jointly with an Australian supplier of services, training and logistics for the RAN’s replacement Patrol Boat project.
Doubtless there are other Australian tenders which are worthy of consideration. One aspect of Austal’s capabilities that stands out is its proximity to the very sphere of operations, such as interception of people smugglers, that the Patrol Boats are intended for. This would have repair and refit benefits further down the line.Frank D. Collins,