The first Guardian class patrol boat has been handed over to PNG, the first of four new boats to be gifted as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project.
The first boat will be commissioned HMPNGS Ted Diro on return to PNG and is named after the first Commander of the PNG Defence Force post-independence.
The new boat has a maximum speed of 20 knots and is designed for a crew of 23 sailors and officers.
“The Ted Diro is the first of 21 Guardian class patrol boats to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste,” Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said.
“The handover marks the start of the maritime element of the Morrison Government’s commitment to the new Pacific Maritime Security Program.”
“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 new 39.5 metre steel hulled patrol boats are designed and built by Austal in WA.
The next vessel will be gifted to Tuvalu in April 2019, with a boat delivered every four months after.
In April, the government announced that Timor-Leste will acquire two boats under the program, scheduled for delivery in October 2023.