Vanuatu to receive new state-of-the-art patrol boat from Australia

A computer rendering of Vanuatu's new patrol boat. Image: Austal

A computer rendering of Vanuatu’s new patrol boat. Image: Austal

The Australian Government has announced the gift of a new patrol boat to assist the Vanuatu Mobile Force’s Maritime Wing with search and rescue and securing Vanuatu’s 668,220km2 Exclusive Economic Zone against illegal fishing and transnational crime.

The new vessel will be delivered in late 2018 at a cost of A$14.7 million (Vt1.2 billion). The new steel-hulled patrol boat will be larger than RVS Tukoro at 39.5m long, with a beam of 8m and a loaded draft of 2.5m. With a top speed of 20 knots, at its typical cruising speed of 12 knots, the vessel will have a 3,000 nautical mile range. It will accommodate a 23-member crew, and have a 30-year service life.

Australia’s gifting of these larger, more capable replacement vessels builds on the success of the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, which provided the RVS Tukoro. The patrol boat program is part of the Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP), which aims to enhance maritime security co-operation across the South Pacific.

The new patrol boat will be built by defence shipbuilder Austal, who won the bid to build 19 or more new patrol boats for South Pacific nations under the PMSP. The new patrol boats will also be maintained by Austral for the next seven years from Cairns, Queensland.