The Australian Government has supplied a Guardian-class patrol boat to Samoa under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

Nafanua II was handed over during a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia.

Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “The strong and enduring security partnership we have with the Samoa Police Service is evident as we deepen our defence cooperation through the exchange of the Guardian-class Patrol Boat under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.”

The delivery is part of the Pacific Patrol Boat replacement component of the A$2bn ($1.35bn) Pacific Maritime Security Program, which is designed to enhance maritime security cooperation across the South Pacific.

Under the programme, Australia will deliver 19 Guardian-class patrol boats to 12 Pacific Island countries by the end of 2023. Two additional boats will be handed over to Timor-Leste in 2023.

The government has already delivered three vessels to Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, and Tonga.

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The boat replacement project will help address issues such as fisheries protection, trans-national crime, and search and rescue.

Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The Guardian-class Patrol Boat programme supports 400 direct and indirect jobs here at Henderson, and is a great example of Australian industry coming together to support our Pacific neighbours.”

Under the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement, Samoa will gather surveillance information in Australian waters during Nafanua II’s return transit to the country.

The second component of the programme pertains to integrated region-wide aerial surveillance.

The contracted fixed-wing capability supports maritime patrols in the region to tackle illegal activity.

The programme’s third component includes efforts to strengthen regional coordination.