Sydney-based company Britton Maritime Systems was awarded a $9 million contract to build 12 Gemini seaboats for Navy’s newest Cape-class patrol boats. 

Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group’s head of maritime systems Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said the contract was another example of Australian industry’s ability to support the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.

“Defence is undertaking the largest regeneration of the Royal Australian Navy since World War II, with more than 70 naval vessels to be built in Australia,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said.

“Seaboats are critical to the operation of patrol boats as they provide the insertion capability required for naval boarding and landing parties.”

Rear Admiral Malcolm said Gemini seaboats were already in service with the current fleet of Navy Cape-class patrol boats and were a great example of what Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) could provide. 

“The contract with Britton Maritime Systems will have two seaboats fitted to each of the six evolved Cape-class patrol boats currently under construction at the Austal Shipyard in Western Australia,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said.

“The seaboats will be constructed in Australia while also utilising a vast local SME support network stretching from the east coast to the west coast.” 

The contract includes spare parts, sustainment, training and documentation, as well as options for additional boats.

Navy veteran and Britton Maritime Systems’ chief executive officer Steve Britton said the company had 34 years of experience and had been supplying and repairing Navy vessels since 1987. 

“It’s great to see Australian industry recognised,” he said.

“The vessel build is a Mark II of the current in-service vessels, utilising state-of-the-art twin 175HP diesel outboard engines by Mercury Marine and the most advanced shock mitigation seating on the market from Shoxs (Allsalt Maritime).

“Britton Maritime Systems is a long-time provider to the ADF and Australian Border Force.

“We design, manufacture and sustain a wide range of products such as fire pumps, underwater navigation systems, vessel arrestor systems, USVs and TruLink wireless communications systems for RAAF. 

“Additionally, we have an entire support system throughout Australia and the Pacific.”