Papua New Guinea commissions second Guardian-class patrol boat from Australia

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) has commissioned its second Guardian-class patrol vessel HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap at the Lombrum Naval Base.

The vessel is the second of 21 Guardian-class patrol boats to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste under Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program. The unit was handed over to the PNGDF in March 2021.

The Guardian-class ship has an overall length of 39.5 meters, a beam of 8 meters, and it can accommodate a crew of 23. The vessel is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C engines and it can attain a top speed of 20 knots.

The class is designed to be equipped with a 30 mm naval gun as a primary weapon, as well as port and starboard mounts for 12.7 mm general-purpose machine guns. The ships are designed to assist nations to combat a wider range of maritime security issues, including transnational crime and illegal fishing.

In February 2019, PNGDF commissioned the first Guardian-class patrol boat HMPNGS Ted Diro. Ted Diro is named after the first Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force post-independence.

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The PNGDF will receive a total of four vessels under the initiative.