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Order up: Australia to acquire another Guardian Class patrol boat pair from Austal

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force recently celebrated the commissioning of its second Australian gifted Guardian Class patrol boat, HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap. Photo: Australian Defence Force

The Australian federal government has ordered two Guardian Class patrol boats worth around $39 million from Austal Australia.

The Australian federal government has ordered two Guardian Class patrol boats worth around $39 million from Austal Australia.

The 39.5-metre steel-hull patrol boats to be constructed at Henderson in Western Australia and scheduled for delivery in 2026 are in addition to the 22 Guardian Class patrol boats previously ordered by the Australian government under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1) since 2016, according to a company statement released on 24 June.

Nineteen of the 22 vessels have been delivered to 12 Pacific Island nations under the Australian government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program since 2018.


Austal chief executive officer Paddy Gregg said the additional Guardian Class patrol boats will extend the production of the proven vessel platform, designed and constructed by Austal in Henderson and serviced by Austal in Cairns, Queensland.

“Of the 30 vessels Austal Australia has delivered since 2018, 19 have been Guardian Class patrol boats for the Australian Department of Defence. These vessels were designed and constructed by our team here in Western Australia, with the support of our highly capable supply chain partners,” Gregg said.

“We also provide in-service support to the 12 Pacific Island nations operating the Guardians, through our growing service centre in Cairns, Queensland.

“We thank the Australian government for their continued support and look forward to delivering these two additional Guardians to our Pacific Island neighbours over the coming years.”

Faster than the previous Pacific Class patrol boats, with improved seakeeping, better amenities, and an enhanced mission capability – including an integrated RHIB stern launch and recovery system – the Guardian Class patrol boat provide Pacific Island nations with an effective naval asset with the capability to carry out border patrols, regional policing, search and rescue, and many other operations domestically and internationally.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project was awarded to Austal Australia in May 2016, with additional contract options awarded in April 2018 and October 2022. With the addition of a further two vessels, the project now comprises 24 Guardian Class patrol boats and a total contract value of approximately AU$400 million.

Austal Australia’s service centre in Cairns, which features a 1,200-tonne (80-metre LOA) slipway and a 1,120-tonne mobile boat hoist, continues to provide in-service support to the growing Guardian Class patrol boat fleet, with more than 100 people employed in a variety of engineering and sustainment roles in the Far North Queensland city.

The 39.5-metre Guardian Class steel monohull patrol boat is based on a proven design platform that has included the 38-metre Bay Class, 56-metre Armidale Class, and 58-metre Evolved Cape Class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy.

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