Defence has advised the Government of an issue affecting the Guardian class patrol boats Australia has delivered to Pacific Island nations through the Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP).
The issue involves a potential fault in the exhaust system.
Under the PMSP, the Guardian Class Patrol Boats are the sovereign property of individual Pacific Island nations, and each nation will make its own decision on whether they choose to continue to operate their vessels, or pause operations.
As with any new capability, it is vital that defects detected during service operation are addressed promptly.
That is why the PMSP includes through life sustainment and maintenance. Other issues have emerged over the past 16 months and have remediation plans in place. This includes cracking in the coupling between the engine and the gearbox, and ventilation in the sick bays.
Austal and Defence representatives soon will travel to Pacific Island nations to assess all vessels and work with Pacific island countries on temporary rectification measures ahead of a longer-term solution.
Defence remains committed to our partners in the Pacific and the Pacific Maritime Support Program. The PMSP is a $2.1 billion program to supply 22 state of the art Guardian Class Patrol Boats to our Pacific partners, inclusive of sustainment and maritime surveillance support. Our Pacific partners are large ocean states. The PMSP is vital to assisting our partners in exercising their sovereign rights in their maritime domains.