23 Mei 2015
A computer-generated image of what is believed to be ST Marine's offer for Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program should the joint bid proceed. (photo : Jane's)
Singapore shipbuilder ST Marine is in talks with Texas-based engineering company Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) to jointly bid for Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program, a source has confirmed to IHS Jane's during the IMDEX 2015 exhibition in Singapore.
The potential collaboration will cover the design, build, and sustainment for up to 21 40 m steel-hull vessels that will be gifted to 13 Pacific Island states.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program is an initiative by Canberra to enhance the security of its maritime region by augmenting the maritime capabilities of its immediate neighbours.
Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop and then defence minister David Johnston announced in June 2014 that the country was allocating AUD2 billion (USD1.6 billion) to replace 22 patrol boats gifted to 12 Pacific Island states between 1987 and 1997 that are now approaching the end of their service life.
"The Pacific Patrol Boat Program is an important pillar of the Australian government's commitment to working with our regional partners to enable cohesive security co-operation on maritime surveillance, including in fisheries protection and transnational crime," Bishop said in 2014.
The new vessels will be gifted to all states currently participating in the programme, including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Cook Islands. Timor-Leste may be the 13th state added to the programme.