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Australia continues to deliver Guardian patrol boats, and it buys sea mines

13th October 2023 - 01:17 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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This is the Guardian-class patrol boat HMPNGS Gilbert Toropo, which was donated to PNG by Australia. (Photo: Austal)

A total of 17 Guardian-class patrol boats have now been commissioned, while Australia boosts defensive deterrence by renewing a sea mine capability.

Austal Australia continues to churn out Guardian-class patrol boats for Pacific Island nations. Ultimately destined for Papua New Guinea, the 17th of 22 boats was handed over in a ceremony at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia in early October.

HMPNGS Gilbert Toropo is the PNG’s fourth and final boat overall. It received its first three boats in December 2018, March 2021 and October 2021, respectively. They are used for border patrols, regional policing and search and rescue, for example.

PNG, along with Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, plans to arm its 39.5m-long monohull vessels. Austal delivers them without armaments.

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Gordon Arthur

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur was the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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