Australian Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, and Minister for Defence Industry, Steven Ciobo, said it’s the first of four new boats to be gifted to PNG as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project.
Minister Pyne said the first boat will be commissioned HMPNGS Ted Diro on return to PNG and is named after the first Commander of the PNG Defence Force post-independence.
“The Ted Diro is the first of 21 Guardian class patrol boats to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste,” Minister Pyne said.
“The Ted Diro handover marks the start of the maritime element of the Morrison Government’s commitment to the new Pacific Maritime Security Program.
“The new vessels replace the current Pacific Patrol Boats, operated by 12 participating nations, and will provide each nation with enhanced abilities to conduct maritime surveillance and law enforcement operations.”
Minister Ciobo said the new 39.5 metre steel hulled patrol boats are designed and built by Austal in Western Australia.
“The project is worth over $350 million and Austal estimates it supports around 400 direct and indirect jobs,” said Minister Ciobo.
The next vessel will be gifted to Tuvalu in April 2019 and the last will go to Timor-Leste in October 2023.
“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in this project and we look forward to more boats being handed over.”