The third of four Guardian Class patrol boats has been handed over to Australia’s northern neighbour.
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A handover ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia, has marked the delivery of a new Guardian Class patrol boat, HMPNGS Francis Agwi, to Papua New Guinea as part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
The vessel joins HMPNGS Ted Diro and HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap in support of the country’s maritime security, and is the third of four vessels to be handed over to the nation.
The ceremony was attended by HMPNGS Francis Agwi Commanding Officer Lieutenant Elizah Lourie, representing the high commissioner for Papua New Guinea John Ma’o Kali, who joined virtually.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Head Maritime Systems, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, said the delivery forms part of the country’s commitment to strengthening ties with regional neighbours.
“Together we undertake coordinated maritime surveillance operations to address illegal fishing, transnational crime, and related security challenges,” she said.
RADM Malcolm added that the security partnership would support a shared vision of a free and open Pacific.
“We are capable of achieving so much more as a community. Working together keeps us better informed and well positioned to protect our collective maritime resources,” she said.
In total, the Pacific Maritime Security Program is set to deliver 21 Guardian Class patrol boats to 12 Pacific island nations and Timor-Leste, supporting investment and job creation via Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.
Thirteen vessels have been delivered since the program’s inception, with construction supporting an estimated 400 direct and indirect Australian shipbuilding jobs.