As the former CEO of Defence Maritime Services Pty Ltd (changed to DMS Maritime) and then subsequently Serco where I was Managing Director, I can confirm that the initial 10 x Steber 43 foot boats ordered in 1998 and entering service in 1999 and 2000 for the Port Services and Support Craft contract and then Fleet Marine Services Contract are still in service today.

These boats continue to serve Navy in passenger transfer, target towing, stores transfer, clearance diving operations and general harbour services as well as conducting coastal operations from Garden Island to Jervis Bay and along the coast into the East Australian Exercise Area, into Bass Strait from HMAS Cerberus, in and around HMAS Stirling, around the Great Barrier Reef from HMAS Cairns and around Darwin Harbour and out into the Timor Sea from HMAS Coonawarra.

I understand that Defence is planning ongoing service with these boats into the next form of contract to support Navy.

Greg Hodge, Principal, Pacific Management Partners Pty Ltd