Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia has today congratulated Austal for officially handing over the first of two vessels to go to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
The boat was built as part of the Guardian Class Patrol Boats Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Program.
The vessel will be commissioned as the HMPNGS Ted Diro, named after Edward Ramu (Ted) Diro, a politician and former soldier with the PNG Defence Forces.
The PPB-R program was established to deliver increased capability to regional partners under the Commonwealth’s Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Austal is an Australian shipbuilder and global defence prime contractor which designs, constructs and sustains some of the world’s most advanced commercial and defence vessels.
As stated by Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia:
“The introduction of this class of vessel will provide Papua New Guinea with greater capacity to protect its Exclusive Economic Zones.
“The McGowan Government congratulates Austal on the delivery of the boat, which highlights the company’s capability and capacity to design, build, and export steel vessels.
“The program is small in comparison to the larger major combatant ships and future submarines. However, it offers an opportunity to expand production for further export opportunities.
“The State Government will work with Austal to support the business in identifying and pursuing additional markets for this class of vessel.”