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Tuvalu receives Guardian-class patrol boat from Australia

08 April 2019
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Members of the Tuvalu Police Force at the handover ceremony of Te Mataili II. Source: Commonwealth of Australia

Key Points

  • Tuvalu has received a Guardian-class patrol vessel donation from Australia
  • Vessel will be in service with the maritime surveillance unit of the Tuvalu Police Force

Tuvalu has received its first Guardian-class patrol boat, which is a gift from Canberra as part of Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (SEA 3036) programme.

The vessel, which has been named Te Mataili II , was handed over to the Tuvalu Government on 7 April in a ceremony at Western Australia. The vessel will be operated by the maritime surveillance unit of the Tuvalu Police Force.

Te Mataili II is the second of 21 steel-hulled patrol boats ordered from Australian shipbuilder Austal under SEA 3036. In November 2018, the programme's first-of-class, HMPNGS Ted Diro , was handed over to the government of Papua New Guinea. The vessel is now in service with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force's (PNGDF's) Maritime Element.

The Guardian class has an overall length of 39.5 m, a beam of 8 m, and can accommodate a crew complement of 23. The vessel is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C engines and can attain a top speed of 20 kt.

The patrol boat has been designed to accommodate a 30 mm naval gun as a primary weapon, as well as port and starboard mounts for 12.7 mm general-purpose machine guns.

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