Australia has handed over the RVS Takuare Guardian-class patrol boat (GCPB) to the Republic of Vanuatu at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia, on 30 July.

This was the 12th GCPB delivered by Austal Australia to the Australian Department of Defence (DoD).

Australia handed over the vessel on Vanuatu’s Independence Day.

RVS Takuare has been delivered as part of the DoD’s Pacific Maritime Security Programme.

The programme is aimed at delivering 21 Guardian-class patrol boats to equip 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor Leste with new maritime patrol capability.

The 12 nations include Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Timor Leste.

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RVS Takuare is the 12th vessel delivered under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

During the handover ceremony, Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said that the new patrol boat demonstrates the strong security relationship between Vanuatu and Australia.

Price said: “The new Guardian-class Patrol Boat will provide a boost to Vanuatu’s sovereign maritime capabilities and is another tangible demonstration of our security partnership.

“Australia is proud to deliver this high-quality vessel, supported by wharf infrastructure upgrades in Port Vila and through-life training and maintenance, a hallmark of our Pacific Maritime Security Programme.”

According to Austal, the vessel is the first GCPB to be delivered to Vanuatu under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1).

Each vessel of the GCPB fleet will have an overall length of 39.5m, an overall beam of 8m, a loaded draught of 2.5m, and a cargo deck area of 16m². It can accommodate up to 23 personnel.