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Philippines to acquire two Guardian class patrol boats from Austal.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by Defense Studies on March 26, 2024, the Philippine Coast Guard may acquire two Guardian class patrol boats from the Australian firm Austal.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Guardian class patrol boat. (Picture source: Fiji Navy)

Designed and constructed in Australia, these vessels form part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program initiated by the Australian Government. Measuring 39.5 meters in length, these steel monohull boats are engineered for extended patrols, capable of covering 3,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 12 knots, with the ability to reach speeds up to 20 knots.

Accommodating a crew of 23, the patrol boats are equipped with a stern launching ramp for a pursuit boat, enhancing their search and rescue operations. Despite being delivered unarmed by the manufacturer, Austal, the design includes provisions for mounting armaments including an autocannon of up to 30 mm on the foredeck and a heavy machine gun on either side of the bridge.

Powered by twin diesel engines yielding 4,000 kilowatts, the vessels feature advanced electronic engine controls for fuel efficiency. Notably, one of the main deck staterooms is specifically outfitted with separate ventilation to serve as an infirmary for patients with infectious diseases.


The geopolitical context of the Philippines' recent encounters with Chinese maritime forces in the South China Sea underscores the importance of such maritime security assets. The situation in the South China Sea is complex, involving overlapping territorial claims not only by the Philippines and China but also by several other Southeast Asian nations.

China's aggressive maritime posture, including the construction of artificial islands and the deployment of military assets, has raised tensions and prompted concerns about freedom of navigation and the rule of law at sea.

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