Guardian-class patrol boat handed over to Samoa
Austal has handed over the fourth Guardian-class patrol boatto the Australian Department of Defence, which the government has gifted to Samoa.
During a handover ceremony held on 16 August at Austal’s Henderson shipyard, Samoan deputy prime minister Flame Naomi Mata’afe and commissioner of police, Fuiavailili Egon Lincoln Keil, were in attendance, as was minister for defence industry for Australia, Melissa Price.
‘This is the fourth of 21 Guardian-class vessels that Austal has designed and built for Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program. We are very proud to be delivering this program, on time and on budget, that will continue out to 2023,’ David Singleton, CEO of Austal, said.
‘The Guardian-class has also been an important programme for Austal’s Australian business as the GCPB is Austal’s first major steel shipbuilding programme and is also now a key sustainment operation.’
The vessels will be supported with ongoing maintenance from Austal’s service centre in Cairns, which will create opportunities for Austal in the Pacific more broadly.
‘The Guardian-class provides reliable patrol boat capability and we are already looking at export opportunities for the vessel design,’ he added.
‘As these vessels are increasingly deployed throughout the Pacific, we believe the versatility and capability of the Guardian-class will be exemplified and help drive interest for more orders for the platform.’
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program was awarded to Austal in May 2016, with an additional contract option awarded in April 2018 taking the programme to 21 vessels valued at in excess of A$335 million.
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