The Australian Government has delivered a Guardian-class patrol boat, named VOEA Ngahau Siliva, to the Government of Tonga.

The vessel was delivered during a ceremony held at Henderson in Western Australia.

It was accepted by High Commissioner to Australia Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho and Armed Forces’ Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Siu Fifita on behalf of Tonga.

This is the second boat delivered to Tonga and the eighth Guardian-class vessel that was delivered under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

In June last year, Australia delivered the first Guardian-class patrol boat to Tonga to help address regional maritime security threats in the Pacific region.

Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “Australia and Tonga have long worked together in pursuit of our shared goals for sovereignty, security and prosperity in the Pacific.

“Tonga’s second Guardian-class Patrol Boat is a considerable step up in Tonga’s maritime capability, and I have no doubt the vessel will admirably serve Tonga and the Pacific region in meeting their maritime security goals.

“This programme, which is the successor to the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, demonstrates a 60-year commitment to the Pacific and to regional maritime security.

“We have already delivered seven Guardian-class Pacific Patrol Boats, with another five under construction at Henderson.”

Built by Austal, the patrol boats are designed and constructed in Australia for small Pacific Ocean countries.

In November last year, the Australian Government delivered a Guardian-class patrol boat to the Solomon Islands.