Papua New Guinea receives its 4th Guardian class patrol boat Gilbert Toropo

According to information published by the Australian DoD on October 4, 2023, Papua New Guinea celebrated the acquisition of its fourth Guardian-class Patrol Boat, HMPNGS Gilbert Toropo, during a ceremony held at HMAS Stirling, south of Perth, Western Australia.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Guardian class patrol boat HMPNGS Francis Agwi. (Picture source: Calistemon/wikipedia)

This patrol boat, a product of Austal's design and manufacturing in Western Australia, enhances Papua New Guinea's capacity to safeguard its maritime borders.

She aids in addressing maritime security issues, particularly the pressing challenge of illegal and unregulated fishing. HMPNGS Gilbert Toropo is a valuable addition to the nation's existing fleet, which includes vessels Ted Diro, Rochus Lokinap, and Francis Agwi.

The delivery is part of the Australian Government's Pacific Maritime Security Program, a long-term initiative aimed at fostering continuous collaboration with Pacific nations, ensuring regional stability and security.

Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Richard Marles MP, highlighted the significance of the program and emphasized the deep-rooted defense ties between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Hon Matt Keogh MP, Minister for Defence Personnel, echoed this sentiment, expressing pride in the joint maritime efforts of the two countries. He emphasized that the Guardian Class Patrol Boats play a pivotal role in maritime security operations, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief efforts.

Specifications for the HMPNGS Gilbert Toropo include a length of 39.5 meters, a beam of 8 meters, and a draft of 2.5 meters. Powered by two Caterpillar 3516C diesels, the vessel can achieve speeds up to 20 knots and boasts a range of 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. It is designed to accommodate a crew of 23.