ADV Cape Pillar

Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Cape Pillar is a Cape Class Patrol Boat introduced into service to supplement the Armidale Class Patrol Boat capability. It is one of Navy’s principal contributions to the nation’s fisheries protection, immigration, customs and drug law enforcement operations. The vessels work hand-in-hand with other Government agencies as part of the Australian Border Force. In the event of war they would be tasked to control the waters close to the Australian mainland.

Patrol boats are a primary enabler of the Australian Defence Force contribution to Operation Sovereign Borders, a whole of government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore interests. In association with Border Force, Australian Fisheries and Australian Federal Police, these operations protect against:

  • unauthorised entry
  • breaches of customs, immigration and drugs legislation
  • illegal activity
  • risks to the integrity of national fish-stocks, marine environments and other natural resources.

ADV Cape Pillar is manned by two crews, ‘port’ and ‘starboard’, with one crew embarked and one disembarked at any given time.

When protecting Australia’s borders, crews are employed on a range of constabulary duties involving tracking, intercepting, stopping and boarding other vessels, and sometimes arresting their crews and seizing cargo.


Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Liam McMahon
Class Cape Class
Type Patrol Boat, General (PB)
Role Patrol Boat
Pennant 319
International callsign VKBR
Home port HMAS Coonawarra
Builder Austal Ships, Fremantle
Length 58.1 metres
Beam 10.6 metres
Draught 3.1 metres
Speed 25 knots (top speed)
Range 4000 nautical miles (12 knots)
Crew 21
  • 2 x Caterpillar 3516C diesels
  • 2 shafts
  • 1 bow thruster
Horsepower 6770

2 12.7mm machine guns


General patrol boat