Other countries have similar operations. We’ve talked about the problems the Italians have been having.
The Australians are having similar problems but their geography works against them. Plus they are trying to address this problem with vessels that simply may not be up to the job, at least not they way they are doing it.
Their workhorse for this mission are ten Armidale Class patrol boats, based in Darwin. These vessels are longer than the Fast Response Cutters, but because of their aluminum hulls, they are actually much lighter displacement. Their range and crew size are similar. They are slightly slower at 25 knots.
The problem is that the emigrants are not trying to come directly to continental Australia, they are trying to get to Australian territory in the form of islands close to Indonesia but distant from mainland Australia, The Cocos Islands or Christmas Island.
The Cocos Islands are less than 600 miles from Indonesia but over 2,000 miles from the boats’ base in Darwin.
Christmas Island is less than 200 miles from Indonesia, but over 1500 miles from Darwin.
These relatively small patrol craft have to transit about 1,500 miles before they can even start to work. The Australian Navy has recently gotten into a bit of hot water over entering Indonesian waters as they try to enforce their immigration laws.