Solomon Islands receives second Pacific patrol boat replacement

The Solomon Islands received its second Guardian-class patrol boat under Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program yesterday.

CAPTION: Ship’s company of Royal Solomon Islands Patrol Vessel Taro line the upper deck after boarding their vessel for the first time following a formal handover ceremony at Henderson, WA. Photo by Able Seaman Annabelle Reidy.

High Commissioner for Solomon Islands Robert Sisilo accepted RSIPV Taro on behalf of the Solomon Islands government at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia.

Head of Navy Engineering Rear Admiral Katherine Richards said Australia and Solomon Islands had a long history of close security cooperation, based on a shared vision for a secure and prosperous Pacific.

“The new Guardian-class patrol boats play an important role in tackling our shared regional security challenges, and the delivery of RSIPV Taro is a significant milestone,” Rear Admiral Richards said.

“We are better positioned to respond to maritime threats, from illegal fishing to transnational crime by working together, coordinating closely and building our interoperability.”

RSIPV Taro is the second of two Australian-made Guardian-class patrol boats to be gifted to Solomon Islands.

The first vessel, RSIPV Gizo, was delivered in November 2019.

“Solomon Islands is leading the way in its use of the Guardian-class,” Rear Admiral Richards said.

“The completion of its Guardian-class fleet today is a significant step-up in Solomon Islands’ and regional capability.”

Under the Pacific Maritime Security Program, 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor-Leste will receive 21 Guardian-class patrol boats.

To date, 10 vessels have been delivered across the Pacific.

 

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