The first Guardian Class Pacific patrol boat has been launched at Henderson, Western Australia. The launch is significant as it is the first vessel from the Government’s $90 billion continuous shipbuilding programme.
According to Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne: “The launch is a further demonstration the Turnbull Government is delivering on its ambitious naval shipbuilding agenda. The project, which is worth around $335 million, is on time and on budget.”
“This particular boat will be gifted to Papua New Guinea in late October 2018, and is the first of 21 boats to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries and East Timor as part of the Pacific Maritime Security Programme.”
“Austal has advised the Guardian Class Patrol Boat Project supports around 400 jobs either directly or through the supply chain,” said Pyne.
The patrol boats will be used for maritime surveillance and enforcement operations, including combating illegal fishing.
Construction of the second and third of the 39.5-metre steel-hulled patrol boats is already underway at Austal’s dedicated production facility near Henderson, with boats to be delivered at approximately three-month intervals from late 2018 until 2023.