A guardian to watch over Fijian waters

Department of Defence

Fiji has received its second Guardian-class patrol boat, RFNS Puamau, from Australia, demonstrating the commitment to closer cooperation, consultation and partnership between the two nations.

Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy joined Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka during a handover ceremony at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia on March 7.

“We are profoundly grateful to Australia for the Pacific Maritime Security Program. It is a testament to Australia’s commitment to Fiji and the region and to our shared security challenges and aspirations,” Mr Rabuka said.

Mr Conroy echoed the sentiment of Mr Rabuka.

“This ceremony here marks a significant step forward in our Pacific partnership, as this vessel, designed and constructed by Austal Australia, formally comes under the control of the Republic of Fiji Navy to protect and patrol the waters of the Fijian archipelago,” Mr Conroy said.

To reflect changing priorities and challenges, Australia and Fiji renewed and elevated their commitment to the Vuvale Partnership in 2023, establishing a greater focus on enhancing security cooperation to maintain a peaceful, prosperous and resilient region.

Puamau will continue Fiji’s important work in protecting regional maritime security, supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and responding to national priorities alongside its sister ship, RFNS Savenaca.

Puamau is the nineteenth vessel delivered under the Pacific Maritime Security Program. The program is Australia’s 30-year commitment to Pacific partners, and builds off the success of the original Pacific Patrol Boat Program.

/Public Release. View in full here.