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Maritime security strengthened through Pacific Patrol Boat Program



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Minister for Foreign Affairs & Minister for Defence - Maritime security strengthened through Pacific Patrol Boat Program

17 June 2014

A new $2 billion Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB) Program unveiled today by Foreign Minister Julie

Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston aims to significantly strengthen security in our

region.

“The Pacific Patrol Boat Program is an important pillar of the Australian Government’s

commitment to working with our regional partners to enable cohesive security cooperation on

maritime surveillance, including in fisheries protection and transnational crime,” Minister Bishop

said.

“Defence will replace the current fleet of patrol boats for all current PPB members with the

addition of a new member, Timor-Leste (East Timor), which has been invited to join the program,

evidence of Australia’s growing defence cooperation program with that country,” said Senator

Johnston.

“The current fleet of 22 patrol boats gifted to 12 PacificIsland countries from 1987 to 1997 are

now approaching their end of service life.

“This new program will involve the construction of more than 20 steel, all purpose patrol vessels

that will considerably enhance the maritime security of our Pacific and regional partners,” he said,

adding: “Australia has a fundamental strategic interest in the security and stability of Pacific island

nations.”

Senator Johnston said the rugged Australian-made patrol boats are worth $594 million with

through life sustainment and personnel costs estimated at $1.38 billion over 30 years.

In the coming months discussions will be held with PPB states on the individual allocation of

patrol vessels.

Replacement patrol boats will be offered to all current participating states including Papua New

Guinea, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Federated States of

Micronesia, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Cook Islands and new member Timor-Leste.

Under the program, Defence will undertake an open tender for the procurement which includes

an option for ongoing sustainment and crew training.

Media contacts:

Mark Dodd (Defence Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 560

Gabrielle Young (Foreign Minister’s Office) 0408 275 340