Australian shipbuilder Austal has delivered the ninth Guardian-class patrol boat (GCPB) as part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program which will equip twelve Pacific Island nations with 21 new boats.
After it was delivered, the future HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap was gifted by the Australian government to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force at a certificate signing ceremony held at Austal Australia’s Henderson shipyard.
The vessel is named after Brigadier General Rochus Lokinap, a former Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force from 1987 to 1992.
The vessel is the second of four Guardian-class patrol boats to be delivered to Papua New Guinea under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project, and follows the delivery of the HMPNGS Ted Diro in December 2018.
“Austal not only designs and constructs the Guardian-class, but also delivers a comprehensive training program to each crew accepting the vessels. Through this successful handover process, we are continuing to develop a very strong, productive relationship with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and their crews.” Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said.
The 39.5-meter steel monohull patrol boats are being designed, built and delivered by the company under two contracts signed with the Australian government in 2016 and 2018. The two contracts are worth a combined A$335 million.
The steel monohulls are based on a design platform that has included the 38 meter Bay-class, 56 meter Armidale-class and 58 meter Cape-class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy.
Twelve Pacific Island nations including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Timor Leste will receive the vessels through to 2023.