The Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program has reached a new milestone as the Kingdom of Tonga received their second Australian-built Guardian-class Patrol Boat at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia. This is the eighth Guardian-class vessel to be delivered under the Program. The High Commissioner to Australia HRH Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho and His Majesty’s Armed Forces’ Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Siu Fifita accepted the VOEA Ngahau Siliva on behalf of Tonga. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said she was pleased to attend the ceremony and see how Australia’s defence industry and Austal Ships are playing a key role in the Pacific Maritime Security Program. “Australia is proud to play a part in the next generation of Pacific maritime capability through the delivery of Australian-built vessels,” Minister Price said. The VOEA Ngahau Siliva is the second Guardian-class Patrol Boat for Tonga and the eighth for the Pacific.
Tonga was given three Pacific Forum-class patrol vessels in 1989, 1990 and 1991, VOEA Neiafu, VOEA Pangai and VOEA Savea. Those vessels were designed to have a working life of at least 30 years, so Australia designed the Guardian class, a slightly larger, and more capable replacement class. Australia delivered her sister ship, the third vessel of her class, the VOEA Ngahau Koula, to Tonga on June 21, 2019.