Australia’s gift to Samoa.
Photo: Nafanua III is the 18th Guardian-class Patrol Boat to be delivered to Samoa – Photo provided by Austral.
The Australian government has formally presented a patrol boat known as Nafanua III to Samoa in a designated ceremony this week. The Minister of Police and Prisons for Samoa, along with the Commissioner of Police, accepted Nafanua III on behalf of the Samoan government from a representative of the federal government. This representative, acting on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, handed over the boat.
Nafanua III marks the 18th vessel delivered under a program initiated by the Australian government, namely the Pacific Maritime Security Program. This program, with a commitment lasting 30 years, aims to sustain continuous engagement with Pacific partners. The objective is to enhance the capabilities of these partners in achieving their security objectives, contributing to a stable, prosperous, and secure region.
The latest addition to the Guardian Class fleet will contribute to Samoa’s efforts in safeguarding its maritime sovereignty. It is designed to improve surveillance capabilities and facilitate rapid responses for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief when necessary.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence expressed satisfaction with the ongoing partnership between the Defence sector and the Samoa Police Service. The acquisition of Nafanua III is seen as a crucial step in supporting regional maritime security efforts.
Austal Australia, responsible for designing, constructing, and sustaining Nafanua III, has demonstrated sovereign capability in naval vessel development. The Guardian Class patrol boat, equipped with an integrated launch and recovery system, enhances the naval assets available to Pacific partners for various operations.
The 39.5-meter patrol boat, based on previous classes, adds to the list of vessels delivered by Austal Australia since November 2018. The company has successfully delivered a total of 29 ships, including Guardians, Evolved Capes, Capes, and high-speed ferries.