Photo credit: Angra at en.wikipedia: Royal Solomon Islands Police Vessel Lata in Townsville Harbour during a 2005 maintenance visit, one of the boats to be replaced
MarineLink is reporting that Australia is planning to reprise its earlier Pacific Patrol Boat Program of providing patrol boats to island nations in the Pacific. The Program will build over 20 steel hulled patrol boats.
“…the rugged Australian-made patrol boats are worth $594 million with through life sustainment and personnel costs estimated at $1.38 billion over 30 years.
“Replacement patrol boats will be offered to all current participating states including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Cook Islands and new member Timor-Leste.”
Of those 13 states the US has obligations to three of them, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau, under the Compact of Free Association.
Characteristics of existing PPB as listed in Wikipedia:
Displacement: 162 tons full load
Length: 31.5 m (103 ft)
Beam: 8.1 m (27 ft)
Draught: 1.8 m (5.9 ft)
Propulsion: 2 Caterpillar 3516TA diesels, 2820 hp (2.1 MW), 2 shafts
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 2,500 nautical miles @ 12 knots
Endurance: 10 days
Furuno 1011 I band surface search radar
Given the expected price of the new patrol boats, I suspect the new boats may be larger, perhaps similar to the Australian Armidale class.
At the very least we can expect that the US Coast Guard may be involved in training for the crews of some of these boats. There is also a good possibility of cooperative operations.