The two 58.1 m monohull vessels will be delivered to the National Australia Bank in mid-2017 and subsequently chartered to the Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Defence) for a minimum term of three years.
The shipbuilder has successfully employed a similar off-balance-sheet charter of defense ships through the charter of Westpac Express to the U.S. Navy for 13 years.
The two vessels will be sustained by Austal in accordance with the in-service support offering provided to the eight existing Cape Class Patrol Boats designed and constructed by Austal and owned by the Australian Border Force.
Austal says it is providing a residual value guarantee to the National Australia Bank that may be exercised at the conclusion of the charter term.
In the event that the Department of Defence returns the ships at the end of the charter and National Australia Bank exercises the residual value guarantee option, then Austal will purchase the vessels at a pre\agreed price.
Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said the contract would take the fleet of Cape Class Patrol Boats to ten vessels and reflected the quality and performance of the existing fleet of ships Austal recently delivered on time and on budget.
"It is also a terrific vote of confidence in Austal and the products we design, build and sustain at our Henderson shipyard in Western Australia. As Australia's only ASX-listed prime contractor we are very well positioned to support the Commonwealth in its future continuous shipbuilding plans," Mr. Bellamy said.