New patrol boat to be delivered next year.

The ‘Guardian Class’patrol boat. Photo: Austal Limited.

The Australian Minister for Defense, Senator Marise Payne assures the Royal Solomon Islands Commissioner Mathew Valley that Solomon Islands will receive two new patrol boats to replace the current ones.

Senator Payne said the first boat would be delivered by the end of 2019 to replace the patrol boat Lata. The second one will be delivered in 2023.

During her program at the Rove Police Headquarters recently, Minister Payne visited the Police Memorial Park where she laid wreaths to honour the 84 Australian servicemen who lost their lives on HMAS Canberra in 1942 and also for PTE Jamie Clark who died whilst serving in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands on 10 March 2005.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Mathew Varley said the new Patrol boat will boost the country’s maritime capability.

“That will be a big step forward for our maritime capability,” he said.

“The new patrol boats are much larger and more capable than the ones we have now.”

The  new patrol boats belong to the  ‘Guardian class patrol boats’, they  are a class of small patrol vessels designed and built by  ‘Austal  Limited’ in Australia for small Pacific Island countries.

The boats created under the ‘Pacific Maritime Security Program’,  are to be used by countries for maritime surveillance and fisheries protection.

By: Kikiva Tuni.

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