Australian shipbuilder Austal announced on 9 August that the first Guardian-class Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB) had begun sea trials.
The vessel is one of 21 Austal-designed and -built patrol boats that are to be gifted by Canberra to Pacific Island states as part of Australia’s security assistance to the region under the Sea 3036 Pacific Patrol Boat programme.
The move comes a few months after Austal launched the first of the Guardian-class boats. Named Ted Diro (with the pennant number 401), the vessel entered the water on 29 May at the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson in Western Australia.
The Sea 3036 programme will replace a current fleet of 22 patrol boats gifted to Pacific Island states between 1987 and 1997.
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