Australia supports PNG to counter maritime threats

Australia continues to invest in Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s maritime security capability. At the request of Papua New Guinea, the Australian Defense department has agreed on June 25 to arm the Papua New Guinea Defense Force’s four new Guardian-class Patrol Boats, delivered through the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

This will ensure a continuity of Papua New Guinea’s sovereign capabilities, with its Pacific-class Patrol Boats previously armed.  The equipment will better enable Papua New Guinea to respond to shared maritime challenges, from illegal fishing to transnational crime.

Australia will provide a comprehensive support and training package. Both countries are committed to signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which will ensure compliance with relevant domestic and international obligations.

Australia has a long-standing security partnership with Papua New Guinea through the Defense Cooperation Program and the Pacific Maritime Security Program. The two countries have a history of working together to protect shared maritime security interests.

This investment in Papua New Guinea’s sovereign defense capabilities will boost Pacific regional maritime security and contribute to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The first Guardian-class Patrol Boat provided to Papua New Guinea, HMPNGS Ted Diro, was handed over in 2018. The second, HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap, was delivered to Papua New Guinea in 2021. A further two patrol boats are under construction. The 39.5-meter steel patrol boats are designed and built by Austal in Western Australia.

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