A Guardian Class vessel has been handed over to the Pacific island nation as part of the Commonwealth government’s ongoing commitment to the region.
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Australia has delivered a new Guardian Class patrol vessel, RVS Takuare, to Vanuatu — the 12th vessel delivered under the Commonwealth government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program.
The vessel was handed over on Vanuatu’s Independence Day at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia.
His Excellency Samson Fare, Vanuatu’s high commissioner to Australia, accepted RVS Takuare on behalf of the Republic of Vanuatu, joined by senior Australian Defence representatives via live stream from Canberra.
The ceremony was attended by Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, who said the delivery would help further build ties between the nations.
“Our relationship is founded on shared values, interests and friendship,” Minister Price said.
“I wish to congratulate Vanuatu on its 41st Anniversary of Independence and extend my best wishes to the people of Vanuatu and to the ni-Vanuatu community here in Australia.
“It is fitting that Australia is delivering RVS Takuare today.”
Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau Maau’Koro noted the significance of the delivery.
“This is an emphatic demonstration of caring at the highest level, expressed in no better way than on Freedom Day for our Republic by this generous gesture of giving by the people of Australia, and represents a new call on nationhood in our expression of security and maritime surveillance. To say that we are proud understates the value we give to this relationship,” the Deputy PM said.
Minister Price went on to note the contribution of the partnership to local industry.
“I am pleased that our security partnership is supporting Vanuatu’s COVID-19 economic recovery through local jobs, alongside Australian industry involvement,” Minister Price said.
“Defence Cooperation projects such as upgrades to the Vanuatu Government National Emergency Radio Network and the Cook and Tiroas Barracks redevelopment are deepening our security partnership and industry ties.”
As part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Australia is delivering a total of 21 Guardian Class patrol boats to 12 Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste. This includes through-life sustainment for the vessels and the provision of dedicated aerial surveillance to the region.