Defence is delivering capability to enhance maritime security through the Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP). The PMSP is a comprehensive package of capability, infrastructure, sustainment, training and coordination designed to increase national and regional maritime security for 16 nations, i.e. 15 Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste.
The PMSP builds on the success of the original Pacific Patrol Boat Program and will see an uninterrupted 60-year commitment of deeper-level engagement in the Pacific.
The PMSP represents the Australian Government’s commitment for the next 30 years in the region and consists of the following components:
- new Guardian-class Patrol Boats with safe and secure berthing
- lifetime sustainment and training
- in-country advisers
- region-wide integrated aerial surveillance
- enhancements to regional coordination.
Australia is delivering 22 Guardian-class Patrol Boats to 12 Pacific island nations and Timor-Leste under the PMSP, with 18 vessels already delivered to 11 partner nations.
The Guardian-class Patrol Boats are the sovereign property of individual program participant nations.
The new Guardian-class Patrol Boats represent a significant shift in capability from the Pacific Patrol Boats. In March 2021, Defence has engaged TAFE Queensland to deliver the Pacific Maritime Training Services (PMTS) program.
The PMTS program provides all maritime, technical, seamanship, communications and management training courses to develop the skills and capabilities of the crews of Guardian-class Patrol Boats.
In addition, the PMSP also provides training which embraces multiple approaches and agencies working in a complimentary manner. These training aim to provide the skills, knowledge and attributes to the nations to safely and effectively operate, manage and maintain their property.
The PMSP's Aerial Surveillance Program enhances national and regional maritime security through targeted, intelligence-driven patrols. The program also supports the improved interoperability between Pacific island nations.
The 15 Pacific island nations who are members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, have access to the services in addressing maritime security challenges.
Armaments on Guardian-class Patrol Boats
At the request of the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Defence is arming their Guardian-class Patrol Boats with 12.7 mm machine guns and delivering a comprehensive support package of training and through-life maintenance.
Australia is committed to assisting Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to meet current and emerging maritime security challenges and priorities, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and transnational crime.
The armaments are commensurate with capabilities present on Australian Border Force and Australian Defence Force Cape-class Patrol Boats. It will also provide continuity with the Pacific-class Patrol Boats, which were also previously armed.
The armaments are provided under bilateral arrangements that reflect all parties’ commitments to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place and ensure compliance with relevant domestic and international obligations.
Defence will provide a comprehensive support package to safely integrate the armaments, in accordance with Australia’s domestic and legal requirements. The package includes appropriate legal training and professional advice from our Defence Cooperation Program personnel.