Joint media release:
- Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs, Republic of Vanuatu, The Honourable Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau
Australian and Vanuatu have marked another milestone in our nations’ longstanding security partnership with Vanuatu taking ownership of its new Guardian-class Patrol Boat.
The RVS Takuare is the 12th vessel delivered under the Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program and was handed over by Australia on Vanuatu’s Independence Day at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia.
To ensure a COVID-safe ceremony for all our ni-Vanuatu and Australian attendees, His Excellency Mr Samson Fare, Vanuatu’s High Commissioner to Australia, accepted RVS Takuare on behalf of the Republic of Vanuatu alongside senior Australian Defence representatives via live stream from Canberra.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price represented Australia at the handover and said Vanuatu’s new Guardian-class Patrol Boat was an important demonstration of the enduring strength of the Vanuatu-Australia security relationship.
“Our relationship is founded on shared values, interests and friendship,” Minister Price said.
“I wish to congratulate Vanuatu on its 41st Anniversary of Independence and extend my best wishes to the people of Vanuatu and to the ni-Vanuatu community here in Australia.
“It is fitting that Australia is delivering RVS Takuare today.
“The new Guardian-class Patrol Boat will provide a boost to Vanuatu’s sovereign maritime capabilities and is another tangible demonstration of our security partnership.
“Australia is proud to deliver this high quality vessel, supported by wharf infrastructure upgrades in Port Vila and through-life training and maintenance – a hallmark of our Pacific Maritime Security Program.”
Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau Maau’Koro (MP) has closely followed the progress of the RVS Takuare from Vanuatu. He remarked;
“This is an emphatic demonstration of caring at the highest level, expressed in no better way than on Freedom Day for our Republic by this generous gesture of giving by the people of Australia, and represents a new call on nationhood in our expression of security and maritime surveillance. To say that we are proud understates the value we give to this relationship.”
Minister Price said the partnership between Vanuatu and Australia was also delivering benefits to local industry in both countries through joint security projects under the Defence Cooperation Program.
“I am pleased that our security partnership is supporting Vanuatu’s COVID-19 economic recovery through local jobs, alongside Australian industry involvement,” Minister Price said.
“Defence Cooperation projects such as upgrades to the Vanuatu Government National Emergency Radio Network and the Cook and Tiroas Barracks redevelopment are deepening our security partnership and industry ties.”
Under the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Australia is delivering 21 Guardian-class Patrol Boats to 12 Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.
In addition to through-life sustainment for the vessels, the Pacific Maritime Security Program also provides dedicated aerial surveillance to the region.