A MAJOR servicing and restoration effort in Cairns has been completed onHMAS Armidale, a patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy.

The $5m effort was the first of several major maintenance projects over the next two years, according to Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price.

“Thales Australia will continue to partner with local Australian businesses to maintain this important capability for the Navy while growing the local industry workforce,” Ms Price said.

Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch said the HMAS Armidale project was conducted at the Norship’s shipyards.

“HMAS Armidale’s docking and maintenance period required significant technical expertise provided by eleven local Cairns suppliers delivering over 200 crucial tasks during the project,” Mr Entsch said.

“This compliments the significant work undertaken by Navy’s Fleet Support Unit and the ship’s crew.

“With a substantial number of local companies qualified to provide expertise for later services this is a great example of how capable our local defence industry is, and the diverse range of companies taking up opportunities in the defence supply chain.”

HMAS Armidale and her 12 sister Armidale Class Patrol Boats are used by the Royal Australian Navy to support Operation Sovereign Borders.

An earlier ship of the same name served as a minesweeper during WWII.