Australia’s largest defence exporter, Austal (ASX:ASB), has delivered the 18th Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence.
The vessel, Nafanua III, was accepted by representatives from the Department of Defence and then gifted by the Australian government to the Samoa Police Service at a handover ceremony held at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia on 22 November 2023.
Austal says faster than the previous or current Pacific-class patrol boats and with improved seakeeping, better amenities, and an enhanced mission capability, the Guardian-class Patrol Boat provides Papua New Guinea with a much-improved naval asset to carry out border patrols, regional policing, search and rescue, and other operations.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project was awarded to Austal Australia in May 2016, with subsequent contract options awarded in April 2018 and November 2022 taking the project to 22 vessels, valued at more than $350 million.
Under the contract, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Timor-Leste are receiving vessels.
The Pacific Patrol project supports more than 200 direct jobs at Austal Australia and more than 200 indirect jobs nationally through Australian businesses contracted by Austal.
Austal is an Australian global shipbuilder and defence prime contractor designing, constructing, and sustaining some of the world’s most advanced commercial and defence vessels.
For 35 years, the company has contracted more than 350 vessels for over 122 commercial and defence operators in 59 countries, worldwide. Austal is also the first ASX-listed shipbuilder.
It has industry-leading shipyards in Australia, the US, Philippines, and Vietnam with service centres worldwide.
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au