Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program

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The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program is an initiative where the governments of Australia and New Zealand will assist the governments of small Pacific Island countries in patroling their offshore sovereignty zones.[1] According to the Nautilus Institute following the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea fora agreed island nations could establish 200 kilometre exclusive economic zones, there was a need for Australia and New Zealand's to supply their Pacific island neighbors with the kit to police their zones.[2]

It is a follow-on program to an earlier Pacific Patrol Boat program, where Australia and New Zealand supplied 31 metre patrol boats to a dozen small nations, and helped train their crews.[1] The new program would replace the older vessels, as they approached the end of their working life.

The new vessels would be slightly larger, and more capable than the earlier vessels, while still being designed to be easy to operate and maintain.[1][3] The new vessels will be 40 metres long, and would carry a high speed pursuit boat, that could be launched and retrieved via a stern launching ramp, without requiring the parent vessel to first come to a stop.[4][5][6][7] The United States Coast Guard's similar size Marine Protector cutters require only a single crew member to remain on deck when deploying or retrieving its pursuit boats via its stern launching ramp.

Australian shipbuilder Austal was awarded a preferred tender contract for the vessels, in May 2016, that is anticipated to be worth $900 million.[1][6]

The advantages to Australia and New Zealand for this program include a reduction on the calls on their own maritime resources for search and rescue and humanitarian disaster assistance;[1][8] the boats will help their small partners reduce unauthorized pollution of the Pacific; the boats will help their small partners protect their own fisheries, reducing the need for foreign aid.







  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Replacing the Pacific Patrol Boats: A smart re-investment play". The Interpreter. 2016-02-03. Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2016-08-24. "The Pacific Maritime Security Program, incorporating the Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB) initiative, is the most important engagement instrument of all, currently operating across 12 countries: Papua New Guinea (PNG), Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Palau, Marshall Islands and the Cook Islands." 
  2. "Pacific patrol boat program". Nautilus Institute. Archived from the original on 2016-04-30. Retrieved 2016-08-24. "Australia’s Pacific Patrol Boat Program began in the 1980s, following the declaration by Pacific island states of a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)." 
  3. "Minister for Defence – Tender announced for Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project". Australian Ministry of Defence. 2015-03-05. Archived from the original on 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2016-08-24. "The replacement vessels will be larger and more capable than the current fleet. They will also have greater seakeeping ability, habitability and endurance, and will be updated for the contemporary operating environment." 
  4. "Austal signs $305m contract for Australia’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement programme". Naval Technology. 2016-05-10. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-08-24. "Under the contract, Austal will construct 19 steel-hulled patrol boats. The contract also includes an option for two additional vessels." 
  5. "Contract signed for Pacific Patrol boat replacements". Australian Defense Magazine. 2016-05-05. Archived from the original on 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-08-24. "Construction of the new vessels will commence in the second half of 2017, with the first vessel to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2018 and work running through until 2023." 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "AUSTAL SELECTED AS PREFERRED TENDERER FOR PACIFIC PATROL BOAT REPLACEMENT PROJECT". Austal. 2016-04-18. Archived from the original on 2016-07-02. Retrieved 2016-08-24. "The PPBR project involves the construction of up to 21 steel-hulled patrol vessels and through life sustainment over 30 years in a total Government expenditure of up to $900 million." 
  7. "AUSTAL AWARDED PACIFIC PATROL BOAT CONTRACT". Austal. 2016-05-05. Archived from the original on 2016-08-24. "The all new Pacific Patrol Boat is based on Austal’s proven patrol boat design platform and is 39.5 metres long with a beam of 8 metres and a loaded draft of 2.5 metres. It is capable of traveling at 20 knots and at 12 knots possesses a 3,000 nautical mile range. Each vessel can accommodate 23 people." 
  8. Karl Claxton (2014-04-07). "Boats to patrol the Pacific". The Strategist. Archived from the original on 2016-08-21. Retrieved 2016-08-24. "For Australia, PMSP will preserve regional capabilities to police a vast area we’d otherwise have to look after ourselves." 
  9. Stephanie Anderson (2016-04-18). "Malcolm Turnbull says 12 offshore patrol vessels to be built in Adelaide". ABC News (Australia). 
  10. Dave Morley (2015-12-03). "Replacement Program". Navy News (Royal Australian Navy): p. 9. Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  11. Nicholson, Brendan (5 March 2015). "Patrol boat orders to save shipbuilding industry". The Australian. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  12. "Maritime security strengthened through Pacific Patrol Boat Program" (Press release). Australian Government: Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence. 2014-06-17. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  13. Anthony Bergin, Sam Bateman. Law and order at sea in the South Pacific. pp. 566–567. 
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