The Australian defense ministry has awarded Austal an A$15.2 million contract to deliver an additional Guardian-class patrol boat as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1).
The 39.5 meter steel hull patrol boat will be constructed in Western Australia and delivered in September 2024. It will be joining the 21 patrol boats initially ordered in 2016.
Fifteen of the 21 vessels have been delivered to 11 Pacific Island nations under the Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program, since 2018.
“The steel hull Guardian has proven to be an exceptionally capable patrol boat in a short period of time, with 15 delivered to date and operating throughout the South Pacific,” Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said.
“This additional vessel, will further enhance our Pacific Island neighbors’ capability and regional security, and Australia’s naval shipbuilding capability.
“The Austal Australia team are understandably very proud of the 15 Guardians delivered to date and are pleased to receive an additional order for this effective naval platform – designed and constructed right here in Western Australia, with the help of over 300 suppliers,” Gregg said.
Faster than the previous Pacific-class patrol boats, with improved seakeeping, better amenities, and an enhanced mission capability – including an integrated RHIB stern launch and recovery system – the Guardian-class patrol boats provide Pacific Island nations with a much-improved naval asset to carry out border patrols, regional policing, search and rescue, and many other operations domestically and internationally.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1) was awarded to Austal Australia in May 2016, with an additional contract option awarded in April 2018, taking the program to 21 vessels, valued at more than A$335 million. 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.