Nov 23, 2023
Austal Limited (Austal) (ASX: ASB) is pleased to announce Austal Australia has delivered the 18th Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence.
The vessel, Nafanua III, was accepted by representatives from the Department of Defence and then gifted by the Australian Government, to the Samoa Police Service at a handover ceremony held at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia on 22 November 2023.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said Nafanua III is the third Guardian-class Patrol Boat delivered by Austal in 2023, and one of five vessels in total delivered by the company’s Western Australian shipyards this calendar year. “The Austal team has yet again shown how capable, productive and efficient they are with the delivery of this latest Guardian-class Patrol Boat. Nafanua III is the third Guardian we’ve delivered in 2023, in addition to two 58 metre Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats to the Royal Australian Navy.
“Austal’s Western Australian shipyards, our skilled local workforce and our valued supply chain partners continue to demonstrate a sovereign capability to design, build and sustain naval vessels for Australia, and export markets. In fact, since November 2018 Austal Australia has delivered a total of 29 ships – 18 x Guardian’s, 6 x Evolved Capes, 2 x Capes and 3 x large highspeed ferries. That’s an impressive track record of shipbuilding, of which all stakeholders can be proud,” Mr Gregg said.
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 Guardian-class Patrol Boat provides Samoa with a much improved naval asset to carry out border patrols, regional policing, search and rescue, and many other operations domestically and internationally. The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project was awarded to Austal Australia in May 2016, with subsequent, contract options awarded in April 2018 and November 2022 taking the project to 22 Page 2 of 3 vessels, valued at more than A$350 million, in total. Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Timor-Leste are receiving vessels.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project supports more than 200 direct jobs at Austal Australia and more than 200 indirect jobs nationally through Australian businesses contracted by Austal.
Austal Australia’s service centre in Cairns, incorporating a 1,200 tonne (80 metre LOA) slipway and a 1,120 tonne mobile boat hoist, continues to provide in-service support to the growing Guardian-class Patrol Boat fleet; with more than 100 people employed in a variety of engineering and sustainment roles in the Far North Queensland city.
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.
This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Paddy Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.