Austal has announced the on-time delivery of the fourth Guardian Class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence.
The vessel was, on August 16, gifted by the Government of Australia to the Government of Samoa during a handover ceremony at Austal’s Henderson shipyard, attended by the Samoan Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Flame Naomi Mata’afe and Commissioner of Police, Mr Fuiavailili Egon Lincoln Keil. Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon. Melissa Price MP, represented the Government of Australia.
“This is the fourth of 21 Guardian Class vessels that Austal has designed and built for Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program. We are very proud to be delivering this program, on time and on budget, that will continue out to 2023,” Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said.
“These vessels will be supported with ongoing maintenance from Austal’s Service Centre Operations in Cairns and creates opportunities for Austal in the Pacific more broadly.
“The Guardian Class has also been an important program for Austal’s Australian business as the GCPB is Austal’s first major steel shipbuilding program and is also now a key sustainment operation.
“The Guardian Class provides reliable patrol boat capability and we are already looking at export opportunities for the vessel design. As these vessels are increasingly deployed throughout the Pacific, we believe the versatility and capability of the Guardian Class will be exemplified and help drive interest for more orders for the platform.”
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program 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. The program supports more than 200 direct jobs at Austal and more than 200 indirect jobs through the Australian industry involved in the program. In total Austal has more than 1000 employees in Australia directly contributing to and delivering a strong domestic and export shipbuilding order book.