• HMAS Diamantina anchored in Port Vila Harbour. (Defence)
    HMAS Diamantina anchored in Port Vila Harbour. (Defence)

HMAS Diamantina is currently stranded in Vanuatu following the detection of a recurring 'defect' in the main engine.

The ABC reported on Tuesday that the Huon class minehunter was stuck in Port Vila, Vanuatu as a maintenance team arrived on board the MV Sycamore to fix the problem.

Defence said it expects the ship to return to Australia under its own power, contrary to media reports that it may have to be towed home.

The minehunter was in Vanuatu to provide maritime surveillance as the country stands up its Guardian class patrol boat.

"Defence can confirm that HMAS Diamantina, a Huon-Class Minehunter Coastal vessel, developed a maintenance issue that has delayed its planned return from Port Vila in Vanuatu back to Australia," a spokesperson said.

"The Defence-contracted vessel MV Sycamore sailed from Sydney to Vanuatu with a maintenance team and equipment to support repairs and HMAS Diamantina is expected to return to Australia under her own power in due course.

"The movement of personnel across both vessels is being managed in a COVID-safe manner in order to prevent personnel from either vessel interacting with the local community."

ADM understands that the defect in the main engine has been experienced previously on HMAS Diamantina but is not considered an issue across the other Huon class vessels.

In January, Defence made a down-select decision to explore a variant of the OPVs for the new Mine Countermeasures and Survey Vessels under Project Sea 1905 Phase 1, which will replace the Huon class from the middle of this decade.

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