- 2 * Caterpillar 3516C diesels
- 2 * shafts
- Design is capable of mounting 1 machine guns and an autocannon of up to 30 mm
The Guardian-class patrol boats are a class of small patrol vessels designed and built in Australia for small Pacific Ocean countries.
The class is designed to be updated replacements for the Pacific Forum-class patrol boats provided to its allies from 1987 to 1997.
Australia provided twenty-two Pacific Forum vessels to twelve nations. They were designed to use commercial off the shelf components, to make them easier to maintain for the small nations that would operate them. Australia stood ready to help with training and maintenance, during the duration of the program, because Australia's external security issues were eased if it could count on its sovereign neighbours having resources to police their own external security.
Austal was commissioned to build 19 Guardian-class boats in 2016. Austal's contract allows it to market the design to additional customers. Subsequently, an additional two vessels were ordered for Timor-Leste, scheduled for delivery in late 2023.
Austal delivered HMPNGS Ted Diro to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force on 30 November 2018. Her engines broke down, in October 2019, and she had to be towed to Australia, for repairs.
Like the class of vessels they will replace, these small vessels will allow Australia's small neighbours to patrol their own economic zones. They will be able to control smuggling, unregulated fishing, and perform search and rescue duties. The Guardian class will be slightly larger, will have better sea-keeping capabilities, and their electronics suite will be up to date.
The Australian government called for submission in March 2015. Five consortia submitted designs for the class. Austal was chosen as the contractor in April 2016.
The vessels will be 39.5 metres (129 ft 7 in) long, steel monohull design, capable of traveling 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), with a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). They are designed to berth a complement of 23 crew members. They will have a stern launching ramp for a pursuit boat. Austal will deliver the vessels without armament, but they were designed to be capable of mounting an autocannon of up to 30 millimetres (1.2 in) on their foredeck, and a heavy machine gun on either side of their bridge.
The vessel's twin diesel engines can provide 4,000 kilowatts (5,400 shp). Sophisticated electronic engine controls will help conserve fuel.
One of the main deck staterooms, a stateroom with two bunks, is equipped with separate ventilation, so it can be used as an infirmary for infectious patients.
The keel of the first vessel was laid in July 2017. That vessel was scheduled to be delivered to Papua New Guinea in October 2018. New vessels are scheduled to be completed every three months. The first vessel was commissioned into the PNGDF on 1 February 2019. The second was commissioned into the Tuvalu Police Force on 5 April 2019.
Austal's contract contains provisions to provide maintenance support to the client states, for seven years, out of its Cairns facility.