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Australia has handed over the newest RFNS Savenaca Guardian-class Patrol Boat to Fiji

Austal Limited is pleased to announce the delivery of the sixth Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence. In the latest milestone for the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Australia has handed over the newest Guardian-class Patrol Boat to Fiji at a ceremony on March 6, 2020, at Austal Shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

Australia has handed over the newest RFNS Savenaca Guardian class Patrol Boat to Fiji 925 001 The RFNS Savenaca is a 39.5 meter Guardian Class Patrol Boat, designed and constructed by Austal Australia. (Picture source Austal)

The vessel, the RFNS Savenaca, was today gifted by the Government of Australia to the Government of Fiji during a handover ceremony at Austal Australia’s Henderson shipyard – attended by the Fijian Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, Australian Minister for Defence Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC, Australian Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon. Melissa Price MP and Chief of Defence Force, General Angus Campbell AO DSC.

Austal Chief Executive David Singleton said the first Guardian-class Patrol Boat delivery for 2020 highlighted the Australian shipyard’s continuing gains in productivity and efficiency, which is delivering a new naval vessel every 3 months.

Faster, with improved seakeeping, better amenities and an enhanced mission capability – including an integrated stern launch and recovery system – the Guardian-class Patrol Boat(s) provide the Fiji Navy 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 (PPB-R) Project was awarded to Austal in May 2016, with an additional contract option awarded in April 2018, taking the program to 21 vessels valued at more than A$335 million.

Twelve Pacific Island nations including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Timor Leste will receive the vessels through to 2023.

Guardian-Class Pacific Patrol Boats (GCPPB) are being developed by the Australian shipbuilding company Austal under the Pacific Patrol Boats Replacement (PPBR) project, which is aimed at replacing the existing Pacific Patrol Boats fleet. It has an overall length of 39.5m, an overall beam of 8m, a loaded draught of 2.5m, and a cargo deck area of 16m². It can accommodate up to 23 personnel.

The patrol boat can carry a Work Ribs (WRH635FRB) fast rescue boat, certified by SOLAS. Driven by two 90hp Yamaha outboard motors, the fast rescue boat can seat 15 crew. A launch and recovery system fitted at the stern is used to deploy and retrieve the fast rescue boat. It also features GW / BW discharge pumps, saltwater WC flush system, fuel coalesce, and atmospheric crankcase breathers.