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Friday, March 6, 2020 

Austal has delivered its sixth Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB), the ‘RFNS Savenaca’, which was gifted by the Government of Australia to the Government of Fiji during a handover ceremony at Austal Australia’s Henderson shipyard.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: "Now in the third year of production, the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project has really hit its stride, with this sixth Guardian-class Patrol Boat benefiting from a number of innovative production processes that have reduced production time, while maintaining quality."

Faster, with improved seakeeping, better amenities and an enhanced mission capability – including an integrated stern launch and recovery system – the Guardian-class Patrol Boat(s) provide the Fiji Navy with a much improved naval asset to carry out border patrols, regional policing, search and rescue and many other operations domestically and internationally.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project was awarded to Austal in May 2016, with an additional contract option awarded in April 2018, taking the program to 21 vessels valued at more than A$335 million. 12 Pacific Island nations including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Timor Leste will receive the vessels through to 2023.

Austal’s service centre in Cairns is providing in-service support to the growing Guardian-class Patrol Boat fleet, with more than 40 people now employed in a variety of engineering and sustainment roles in the Far North Queensland city.

The 39.5m steel monohull patrol boat - designed, constructed and sustained by Austal Australia - is based on a proven design platform that has included the 38m Bay-class, 56m Armidale-class and 58m Cape-class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy.

The RFNS Savenaca is one of two Guardian-class Patrol Boats to be delivered to and operated by the Fiji Navy.

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