The Australian Government has handed over the newest Guardian-class Patrol Boat Nafanua II to the Samoan Government at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia on August 16.
Nafanua II was received by Samoa’s Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and the Commissioner of Police Mr. Fuivaili’ili Egon Keil. Melissa Price, the Minister for Defence Industry, represented the Government of Australia.
Linda Reynolds, the Australian Minister for Defence, said that the engagement with Samoa is continuing to grow through ship visits, cultural and sports engagements and community activities.
“The strong and enduring security partnership we have with the Samoa Police Service is evident as we deepen our defence cooperation through the exchange of the Guardian-class Patrol Boat under the Pacific Maritime Security Program,” Minister Reynolds said.
Samoa has accepted the request of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to gather surveillance information in Australian waters during Nafanua II’s return transit to Samoa. This activity will occur under the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement.
Nafanua II is the fourth of the 21 Guardian Class Patrol Boats, which are being gifted to 12 Pacific nations and Timor-Leste under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (SEA3036) Project as part of the Australian Government’s $2 billion Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP).
The vessels are 39.5 metres long with a beam of 8 metres and a loaded draft of 2.5 metres. 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 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 first three vessels were delivered to Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Tonga.