PNG receives first Guardian-class patrol boat
The Australian Department of Defence has handed over the first Guardian-class patrol boat, HMPNGS Ted Diro, to Papua New Guinea (PNG) under Australia's Pacific Maritime Security programme.
This is the first of four new boats to be gifted to PNG as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project, and the first of 21 Guardian-class patrol boats that will be gifted to 12 Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste.
The 39.5m steel-hulled Guardian-class patrol boats are being built by Austal in Western Australia under a project worth over $350 million.
Christopher Pyne, Australia’s Minister for Defence, said: ‘The Ted Diro handover marks the start of the maritime element of the Morrison government’s commitment to the new Pacific Maritime Security programme. The new vessels replace the current Pacific patrol boats, operated by 12 participating nations, and will provide each nation with enhanced abilities to conduct maritime surveillance and law enforcement operations.’
The next vessel will be gifted to Tuvalu in April 2019, and the last will go to Timor-Leste in October 2023.
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