Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Timor-Leste Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, announced that Timor Leste would take two of Austal’s Guardian Class Pacific Patrol Boats (PPBs). When contracted this will increase the total production quantity to 21 from the 19 already committed.
Following on from a visit to Austal’s dedicated patrol boat facility earlier that day, Prime Minister Alkatiri joined Prime Minister Turnbull to make the announcement, heralding a step forward in regional cooperation.
“The PPB program is intended to aid regional security in the South Pacific by helping to secure the Timor Leste maritime border and represents an example of defense diplomacy fostering close relations between countries in the Asia-Pacific
,” Austal CEO, David Singleton, said.
“The first of the current order of Guardian Class patrol boats is already well into its construction phase and is running on time and on budget. Handover of the first vessel is projected to be in the third quarter of CY 2018,” Singleton said.
“The Guardian Class patrol boat project at Austal is supporting 200 direct jobs and a further 200 indirect jobs in the broader industry. This is in addition to several hundred more jobs supported by a large commercial export ship currently being built in the Henderson yard,” he said.
“We are working on other export opportunities for the Guardian Class patrol boat thereby helping Australia sustain
its sovereign naval shipbuilding industry which has already delivered over 40 Patrol Boats to international customers,” Singleton said.
The Pacific Patrol Boat contract was awarded to Austal in May, 2016 and is worth $305 million for the original 19 vessels and associated in service support.
Austal has separately partnered with Fassmer of Germany for the Commonwealth of Australia’s $3.5 billion Offshore Patrol Vessel program and is in a teaming agreement with ASC to compete for the build of the $35 billion Future Frigate Program.