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Australia is stepping up in the Pacific and continuing to deepen our engagement with our regional partners during COVID-19 with the handover of a new Guardian-class Patrol Boat to Palau.
The vessel, PSS President HI Remeliik II, was received by Palauan Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Emerson Nobuo at a COVID-safe ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia, celebrating the latest milestone under the Pacific Maritime Security Programme.
Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds CSC said the new Guardian-class Patrol Boat demonstrates Australia’s enduring partnership with Palau and our shared commitment to regional maritime security.
Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke said the Guardian-class Patrol Boats make an important contribution to regional security.
Palau's vessel is the seventh Guardian-class Patrol Boat delivered to our Pacific partners under the Pacific Maritime Security Programme, Minister Hawke said.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (SEA3036) Project is part of the Commonwealth’s Pacific Maritime Security Programme (PMSP) that aims to enhance practical maritime security cooperation across the South Pacific. The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project broadens and further strengthens the region’s capability to respond to issues such fisheries protection, trans-national crime, and search and rescue through the provision of patrol boats to Pacific Island nations.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Programme (PPBR) comprises 21 x 39.5m steel hull vessels designed and constructed by Austal for delivery to 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor Leste from late 2018 to 2023, including;
*Federated States of Micronesia
*Papua New Guinea
The all-new Guardian Class Patrol Boat is based on Austal’s proven patrol boat design platform, originally developed for the Australian Customs Service (now Australian Border Force) and is 39.5 metres long with a beam of 8 metres and a loaded draft of 2.5 metres. It is capable of travelling at 20 knots and at 12 knots possesses a 3,000 nautical mile range. Each vessel can accommodate 23 people.
The 21 Guardian Class vessels are under construction at Austal's dedicated Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Production Facility at Naval Base, in Western Australia and will be supported by Austal's service centre located in Cairns, Queensland.
SOURCE: DEFENCE NEWS/PACNEWS
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