Austal Tasmania Launches Police Vessel

Austal’s Tasmanian shipyard has launched the first of three 22 metre catamaran police boats being built for the Queensland Police Service.

Intended to patrol remote, tropical locations for extended periods, as far north as Thursday Island, each vessel has a cruising speed of 20 knots, a minimum range of 700 nautical miles and will be powered by two MTU Series 60 diesel engines.

The ability to drive on / drive off a six metre rigid inflatable boat (RHIB) while underway is a significant feature of each vessel.

The launch is the latest milestone for the Tasmanian shipyard – one of Austal’s four Australian facilities – which last September delivered two 47.5 metre high speed catamaran ferries to Hong Kong operator New World First Ferry (NWFF). Since being purchased by Austal in 2007 the facility has grown from 40 staff to more than 130.

Austal Director – Global Sales and Marketing, Andrew Bellamy, said smaller auxiliary platforms like those being built at the company’s Tasmanian facility were an important part of modern maritime security efforts.

“The benefits of lightweight aluminium construction technology in smaller patrol and police platforms – such as significantly lower operating costs – are becoming increasingly relevant to police forces and navies worldwide. Similar vessels are also under construction for the Armed Forces of Malta and the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard at our Western Australian facility,” Mr Bellamy said.

Sea trials of the first Queensland Police vessel are scheduled to commence in March.