Australia agrees to arm PNG patrol boats
At the request of Papua New Guinea, the Australian Defence Force has agreed to arm the Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s four new Guardian-class patrol boats delivered through the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
FILE PHOTO (February 2019): Members of the Royal Australian Navy Sea Training Group with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Maritime Element ships company of ‘Ted Diro’ (P401) on completion of the ships sea readiness evaluation at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. Photo by Able Seaman Christopher Szumlanski.
With PNG’s Pacific-class patrol boats previously armed, this new agreement will ensure a continuity of Papua New Guinea’s sovereign capabilities.
Australia will also provide a comprehensive support and training package.
Both countries are committed to signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which will ensure compliance with relevant domestic and international obligations.
Australia has a long-standing security partnership with Papua New Guinea through our Defence Cooperation Program and the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Defence said this investment in Papua New Guinea’s sovereign defence capabilities would boost Pacific regional maritime security and contribute to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The first Guardian-class patrol boat provided to Papua New Guinea, HMPNGS Ted Diro, was handed over in 2018.
The second, HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap, was delivered to Papua New Guinea earlier this year.
A further two patrol boats are under construction.
The 39.5 metre steel patrol boats are designed and built by Austal in Western Australia.