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Life Extension Programme Delays Kikau’s Return

Life Extension Programme Delays Kikau’s Return
RFNS Kikau.
July 18
10:00 2018

 

There has been a delay in the returning of the Republic of Fiji Naval Ship (RFNS) Kikau home after being in Australia since early 2017 because it is undergoing a Life Extension Programme (LEP).

Spokesman navy Lieutenant Commander Timoci  Natuva confirmed this yesterday in Suva.

“The refit is near completion with a planned handover to be conducted later this month,” Lt Com Natuva said.

“Those who are going to escort the vessel back to Fiji have left our shores on Sunday July 8, for training and workup before the ship is brought back to Fiji,” he said.

He said the LEP was a seven year cycle refit.

RFNS Kikau is in Australia for  maintenance and refit.

RFNS Kikau was scheduled to return early this year.

He added that bi-annual maintenance was conducted locally utilising Fiji’s slipways and dry docks.

There is  the Radio Access Network (RAN) mobile training, including  workup and training for the Fijian naval staff  before they assume full responsibility of the vessel.

“The Australian government will assist the Fijian navy in terms of logistics and other administration matters while the ship remains at Australia,” he said.

The Australian and New Zealand navy, he said has been operating with the Fiji Navy since World War II.

“We have built up our relationship over the years and continue to foster mutual cooperation through training, exercises and operations.

“The deployment of HMNZS Taupo to Fiji this year and Hawea last year is indicative of the cooperation between the Fiji Navy and RNZN.”

The refit of RFNS Kikau in Australia, he said was a follow-on support of the Australian Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB)  Defence Coorperation Programme (DCP) which began in 1987.

Meanwhile Royal New Zealand navy vessel HMNZS Taupo has another month assisting in the surveillance of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The Fiji team joining crew members on Taupo consist of  immigration, fisheries and those from the Fiji Police Force.

 

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