Cairns groups to build navy watercraft


Cairns marine engineers Tropical Reef Shipyards and BME NQ will build seven new watercraft to strengthen the Australian Army’s amphibious capability.

The 7.5 metre vessels will be built in Cairns under a $4 million contract.

The two companies will also provide spares and trailers, as well as operator and maintainer training.

Founded in 1977, Tropical Reef Shipyard eploys 150 people providing a comprehensive range of ship repair services.

The shipyard has a 100m, 3000 tonne capacity slipway catering for a wide variety of vessel types.

BME NQ began operation in early 2005 and offers aluminium fabrication services for the marine industry.

BME NQ offers a range of aluminium boat sizes and types from 4m to 12m long.

Acting defence minister Marise Payne said the watercraft will replace the army’s water safety and inshore hydrographic capability.

“The vessels will provide dedicated and agile watercraft for survey, safety, planning and Command and Control.

“These important watercraft will enable the Army to safely conduct a range of amphibious training activities and operations, which is a critical capability for the ADF.

The watercraft will be based on a Chris Tucker Marine Design product, an Australian Naval Architect firm.

Minister for defence industry Melissa Price said Tropical Reef Shipyard was used extensively by the Royal Australian Navy for maintenance and modification services on its Leeuwin Class Hydrographic ships and Paluma Class Survey Motor boats.

Picture: Tropical Reef Shipyards

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