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Fiji Navy benefits from billion dollar program

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, November 03, 2017

THE Fiji Navy will directly benefit from the Australian Government-funded Pacific Patrol Boat Program.

The $2 billion initiative under Australia's Pacific Maritime Security Program will provide funding for the refurbishment of Fiji's naval vessels.

On her first visit to Fiji this week, Australian Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne affirmed Australia's efforts towards strengthening the region's maritime security.

"We are very good at the development or re-development of naval boats. The first 21 vessels Australia is building is underway and we have discussed the refit and refurbishment of two of Fiji's existing patrol boats. The first will be back in Fiji early next year followed by the development of two new patrol boats."

Ms Payne said the program would also strengthen aerial surveillance.

"As you know, we've extended the Pacific Maritime Security Program to include aerial surveillance.

"We hope to have signed contracts on that in the coming months and for that to start early in 2018 as well."

Ms Payne said the refurbished vessels would be more advanced than its predecessors.

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