The Kingdom of Tonga has received their second Australian-built Guardian-class Patrol Boat at a ceremony in Henderson, WA.
This is the eighth Guardian-class vessel to be delivered under the program.
The High Commissioner to Australia Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho and His Majesty’s Armed Forces’ Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Siu Fifita accepted the VOEA Ngahau Siliva on behalf of Tonga.
“Australia and Tonga have long worked together in pursuit of our shared goals for sovereignty, security and prosperity in the Pacific,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said. “Tonga’s second Guardian-class Patrol Boat is a considerable step up in Tonga’s maritime capability, and I have no doubt the vessel will admirably serve Tonga and the Pacific region in meeting their maritime security goals.
“Guardian-class Patrol Boats are playing a key role in supporting the Pacific response to complex COVID-19 related economic and security challenges,” Assistant Defence Minister Alex Hawke said. “The VOEA Ngahau Siliva will protect Tonga’s maritime resources, and reduce the costs of illegal activities on both the economy and society.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said she was pleased to attend the ceremony and see how Australia’s defence industry and Austal Ships are playing a key role in the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
“Australia is proud to play a part in the next generation of Pacific maritime capability through the delivery of Australian-built vessels,” Minister Price said.
The VOEA Ngahau Siliva is the second Guardian-class Patrol Boat for Tonga and the eighth for the Pacific.