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Austal receives contract for two more Guardian-class patrol vessels

The third of four Guardian-class patrol boats for Papua New Guinea seen here in Henderson, Western Australia. Austal has received a contract for two more vessels from the Australian government under the programme. (Austal)

Australian shipbuilder Austal has received a AUD39 million (USD26 million) contract for two more Guardian-class patrol vessels from Canberra.

These vessels are in addition to the 22 Guardian-class patrol vessels that have been ordered by the Australian government under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1) since 2016.

As with previous builds, both vessels signed for under the latest contract will be constructed at Henderson in Western Australia and scheduled for delivery in 2026, said Austal in its media release on 24 June.

Austal first received a contract for SEA3036-1 in May 2016, with additional contract options awarded in April 2018 and October 2022.

With the addition of a further two vessels, the project now comprises 24 Guardian-class patrol boats and a total contract value of approximately AUD400 million.

Thus far, 19 of the 22 vessels have been delivered to 12 Pacific island countries under the Australian government's Pacific Maritime Security Program since 2018.

Austal also continues to provide in-service support to the 12 Pacific island countries operating the Guardian-class boats via a service centre in Cairns, Queensland.

The Guardian class features a steel-hulled vessel with an overall length of 39.5 m and an overall beam of 8 m, and it can accommodate a crew of 23. It is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C engines and can reach a top speed of 20 kt.

All vessels are built with space and weight considerations for 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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