The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has delivered a rigid hull inflatable boat to the Bahrain Defence Force as a gift to mark the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The boat was handed over by the Commander of the Maritime Task Group – Middle East Region captain Bruce Willington to Bahrain Defence Force Planning Department head captain Adel Salem Almeeri.

Several other officials were also present at the handover ceremony.

The vessel was previously used as part of maritime security operations during the deployments of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships in support of Operation Manitou.

Captain Willington said: “Australia is proud of our longstanding commitment to maritime security in the Middle East and an enthusiastic supporter of the Combined Maritime Forces charter.

“The presentation of the boat to the Royal Bahrain Naval Force is a physical token of Australia’s ongoing friendship with the people of Bahrain and our defence force cooperation.

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By GlobalData

“This boat has played a part in Australia’s successful operations and I am sure it will continue to provide great service, contributing further to stability and prosperity in the region with the Royal Bahrain Naval Force.”

Last month, the Government of Australia announced plans to invest A$1bn ($770m) to boost naval capabilities. The funding will be used to provide the RAN with long-range anti-ship missiles, extended range surface-to-air missiles, advanced lightweight torpedoes, and maritime land strike capabilities.

The investment is part of the government’s A$183bn ($140.57bn) Naval Shipbuilding Plan.