RFNS Kikau refurbished

CMDR Vosawale, Norship CEO Mr Olav Groot and DGSS CDRE Wendy Malcolm inspect the junior sailors sleeping space on board Kikau. Picture: Australian High Commission Suva

THE upgrade and maintenance works on the Republic of Fiji Navy Ship RFNS Kikau cost about $F20 million.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Australian High Commission in Suva confirmed the repair works and upgrade were a continuation of Australia’s significant investment in Fiji’s maritime security and enforcement capability.

The RFNS Kikau is now back in the hands of the Fiji Navy after a significant restorative repair at the Norship shipyard in Cairns, Australia.

According to the High Commission, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Lt-Cdr Joseva Tunidau and his crew will spend time at HMAS Cairns to prepare for the upcoming multinational exercise, Exercise Kakadu, based out of Darwin before returning to Fiji at the end of September.

“Fiji’s Pacific patrol boats provide significant capability to conduct maritime surveillance, counter illegal fishing, conduct search and rescue, and provide humanitarian assistance,” the Australian High Commission in Suva said in a statement.

“The Pacific Patrol Boat program will be succeeded by the Pacific Maritime Security Program which will deliver 21 modern Guardian-class patrol boats to 12 Pacific Island nations and Timor-Leste from late 2018, and introduce region-wide aerial surveillance to enhance the effectiveness of patrol assets.”

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