SUNBIZ

RFNS Kikau In Australia For Repairs And Upgrade

  The Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF) RFNS Kikau is now at Cairns, Australia for repairs and upgrade. This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by Commander Marika Vosawale.
31 May 2017 11:00
RFNS Kikau In Australia  For Repairs And Upgrade
The RFNS Kikau loaded on board the MV Thorco Isadora in Suva for repairs and upgrade at Cairns, Australia. PHOTO: Royal Fiji Navy.

 

The Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF) RFNS Kikau is now at Cairns, Australia for repairs and upgrade.

This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by Commander Marika Vosawale.

He said the cost could not be determined as funding was under the Defence Cooperation Project with Australia

The refit and repairs he said would take at least seven (7) months.

When the Kikau arrived back into the country he said the RFNS Kula would be taken for repair in Australia under the same program.

In the meantime the New Zealand Royal Navy has sent the HMNZS Hawea to Fiji to support the Republic of Fiji Navy (RFN) in maritime surveillance.

It arrived in late April and will be stationed in country until early November 2017 when it returns to Auckland.

According to Comm. Tawake the HMNZS Hawea will be on attachment to the Fiji Navy during the six months and will be supporting the RFN in maritime surveillance and Search and Rescue Operations.

Meanwhile on April 28 the RFNS Kikau was lifted aboard the MV Thorco Isadora in Suva, supported by Fijian and Australian Defence Force personnel.

Soon after that the RFNS Kikau commenced its voyage to Cairns to undergo repairs and upgrades as part of Australia’s AUD13.5 million (approximately FJD16.2 million) commitment to refurbish RFNS Kikau and RFNS Kula over the next 12 months.

The repairs and upgrade are a continuation of Australia’s significant investment in Fiji’s maritime security and enforcement capability.

Commander RFN Comm. Humphrey Tawake confirmed yesterday that the crews of the Kikau would fly to Australia prior to the completion of the refit to undertake refresher training in seamanship, firefighting and navigation before sailing the vessel home to Fiji.

The Kikau is expected to return to Fiji in late 2017.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Program is the centrepiece of Australia’s defence cooperation in the South Pacific. Australia gifted 22 Pacific Patrol Boats to 12 Pacific Island nations between 1987 and 1997 – including the provision of ongoing maintenance, training and in-country advisory support.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Program supports Pacific Island Countries to take an active role in securing their own borders and resources.

Fiji’s Pacific Patrol Boats provide significant capability to conduct maritime surveillance, counter to illegal fishing, conduct search and rescue and provide humanitarian relief.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Program will be succeeded by the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program which will deliver 19 modern Patrol Boats to 13 Pacific Island nations from late 2018.

 



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