Perth international shipbuilder Austal has delivered the 17th Guardian class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence, which was then gifted to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
The vessel, HMPNGS Gilbert Toropo, was presented at a handover ceremony held at HMAS Stirling, south of Perth.
The ceremony was attended by Australia’s Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister for Veterans Affairs Matt Keogh, and Papua New Guinea Minister for Defence, The
Hon. Win Bakri Daki MP.
The new Guardian-class Patrol Boat is the fourth of four vessels to be gifted to Papua New Guinea under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project, part of the Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said Papua New Guinea now had four Guardian-class Patrol Boats that have added greater capability to the Navy and are actively contributing to regional maritime security.
The latest vessel is faster than the previous/current Pacific-class patrol boats, with improved seakeeping, better amenities, and an enhanced mission capability – including an integrated RHIB stern launch and recovery system.
The 39.5 metre steel monohull patrol boat – designed, constructed and sustained by Austal Australia – is based on a proven design platform that has included the 38 metre Bay-class, 56 metre Armidale-class and 58 metre Cape-class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy.
Picture: Guardian class patrol boat