Australian shipbuilder Austal is preparing for the delivery of the fifth Guardian-class Patrol Boat to the Commonwealth of Australia on 8 November 2019.
Navigation, Internal & External Communications supplied by Taylor Marine, the vessel, to be named Gizo, will then be gifted to the Government of the Solomon Islands, in a ceremony at Austal’s Henderson shipyard.
Twenty one Guardian-class Patrol Boats are being constructed by Austal for 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor Leste as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1) contributing to the Commonwealth of Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Attending PACIFIC 2019 in Sydney, Australia, Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the Guardians have been well received by the four nations who have already taken delivery of the new vessels.
“The four Guardians we have delivered since December 2018, on-time and on-budget, are already making a huge difference in the Pacific, enhancing the naval and policing capability of Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Tonga and Samoa.
“Faster, with improved sea keeping, better amenities and an enhanced mission capability, including the integrated stern launch and recovery, they provide our neighbours with a much improved naval asset to carry out border patrols, regional policing, search and rescue and many other operations.” Singleton added.
The 39.5 metre steel mono-hull patrol boat designed, constructed and sustained by Austal Australia is based on a proven design platform that has included the 38 metre Bay-class, 56 metre Armidale-class and 58 metre Cape-class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy.
Austal is delivering the 21 Guardian-class Patrol Boats through until 2023 and will provide on ongoing support for each vessel from a dedicated service centre based in Cairns, Queensland.