Cook Islands receive Guardian-class patrol boat from Australia


The Te Kukupa II. Photo c/o Austal.

Australian shipbuilder Austal Limited has delivered the 15th Guardian-class patrol boat to the Australian Department of Defence, which in turn was handed-over to the Cook Islands Government.

The boat, named Te Kukupa II, was handed over Commodore Ivan Ingham AM Royal Australian Navy to incoming Commanding Officer of the boat Tepaki Baxter, Cook Islands Police Force’s Maritime Wing.

The patrol boat was launched in January 2022, and is expected to arrive in Cook Islands by June 2022.

The donation of the patrol boat is part of the A$350 million SEA 3036-1 Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Project under the  Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program which involves providing 21 Guardian-class patrol boats to Pacific island nations including Timor Leste.

The Te Kukupa II will be replacing an older Pacific-class patrol boat named Te Kukupa, which was donated by the Australian Government to the Cook Islands in 1989.

These boats would be used for border patrols and policing, search and rescue, and other missions to support of the recipient governments.

The project not only improves the maritime security capability of the said nations, but also allows the creating of 200 direct jobs and 200 indirect jobs within Australia.

The Guardian-class are steel-hulled monohull patrol boats that made extensive use of commercial off the shelf parts for easy maintenance. They have a length of 39.5 meters, a beam of 8 meters, and draft of 2.5 meters.

The boats are powered by two Caterpillar 3516C diesel engines allowing a speed of more than 20 knots, and a range of 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots.

It has a crew of 23 men, and was designed to allow a naval gun of up to 30mm calibre, and for port and starboard side 12.7mm heavy machine guns.

The patrol boats – designed, constructed and sustained by Austal Australia – are based on a proven design platform that has included the 38 metre Bay-class, 56 metre Armidale-class and 58 metre Cape-class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy.

[2] Defence Connect

Cook Islands receive Guardian-class patrol boat from Australia Cook Islands receive Guardian-class patrol boat from Australia Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on May 30, 2022 Rating: 5

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