Australia has awarded Austal a $15.2 million contract to develop an additional Guardian-class patrol boat to support the government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Under the agreement, the company will construct the 39.5-meter (130-foot) steel-hulled vessel in Western Australia.
The order was placed under the Australian Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project, implemented in 2016.
The patrol boat is expected to be delivered in September 2024.
“The steel hull Guardian has proven to be an exceptionally capable patrol boat in a short period of time, with 15 delivered to date and operating throughout the South Pacific,” Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said.
“This additional vessel will further enhance our Pacific Island neighbours’ capability and regional security, and Australia’s naval shipbuilding capability,” he added.
Guardian Class Patrol Boat
The Guardian class was designed to replace Australia’s older Pacific-class patrols.
It is equipped with improved seakeeping, amenities, and mission capabilities. It also has stern launch and recovery systems for rigid inflatable boats.
Faster than the Pacifics, the Guardians were modeled after Bay, Armidale, and Cape patrol boats in service with the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Border Force.
The Guardian-class patrol boats were integrated into Australian service through a contract awarded to Austal in 2016 and an additional option in 2018. To date, the $335 million agreement has yielded 21 vessels.
Alongside Australia, Austal has partnered with 12 Pacific nations to develop Guardian-class vessels until 2023.