Austal has delivered the ninth Guardian-class patrol boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence.
The vessel, the future HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap, was subsequently gifted by the Australian Government to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force at a certificate signing ceremony held at the company’s Henderson shipyard on Wednesday.
Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the vessel is the second of four Guardian-class patrol boat to be delivered to Papua New Guinea under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project, part of the Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program, and follows the delivery of the HMPNGS Ted Diro in December 2018.
“Austal not only design and construct the Guardian-class, but also deliver a comprehensive training program to each crew accepting the vessels,” Mr Gregg said.
“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.”
The PPB-R Project was awarded to Austal 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.
It supports more than 200 direct jobs at Austal Australia and more than 200 indirect jobs nationally through Australian businesses contracted by Austal.
The Project will see 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 receive the vessels through to 2023.