Austal Launches 8th Guardian-Class Patrol Boat

Australian shipbuilder, Austal has launched the 8th Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB) in Western Australia this week, the company annpounced.

The vessel is to be delivered to Kiribati under the Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program. The boat, to be named RKS Teanoai II (301), will replace the Republic of Kiribati Police’s Pacific Forum-class patrol boat, RKS Teanoai (301).

“Despite the challenging COVID-19 working environment, our hardworking teams, contractors and suppliers successfully launched Teanoai II for Kiribati”, said an Austal statement.

The new Guardian-class boat will significantly enhance Kiribati’s capability to patrol and protect its exclusive economic zone (EE), support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) tasks, and combat illegal activities in its maritime domain.

RKS Teanoai is the eighth of 21 Guardian Class patrol boats to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor-Leste under the SEA3036 Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project as part of the Australian Government’s $2 billion Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP).

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.

Twelve Pacific Island nations including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Timor Leste will receive the vessels through to 2023.

The 39.5-meter steel monohull GCPB patrol boat designed, constructed and sustained by Austal Australia is based on a proven design platform that has included the 38-meter Bay-class, 56-metre Armidale-class and 58-meter Cape-class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The GCPB vessels are 39.5 meters long with a beam of 8 meters and a loaded draft of 2.5 meters. It is capable of traveling at 20 knots and at 12 knots possesses a 3,000 nautical mile range. Each vessel can accommodate 23 people.

The first six GCPB vessels were delivered to Papua New GuineaTuvaluTonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Fiji.

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