Naval Warfare

Australia Donated Landing Craft to Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing

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Australia Donated Landing Craft to Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing

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Australia Donated Landing Craft to Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing
Australia Donated Landing Craft to Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing

The Australian-supported vessel is ideally suited to support any humanitarian and disaster relief efforts that may hit Vanuatu. It is able to reach shallow shores and travel in open oceans. RVS Sokomanu has been freshly painted and refurbished in Singapore and will be based in Vanuatu to provide support to the Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing (PMW). Four of the 22 crew members have now joined RVS Sokomanu in Singapore and are undertaking familiarisation training during the passage to Vanuatu.

The landing craft, which was previously employed in East Africa, was built in Malaysia back in 2017. It will be the largest vessel ever operated by the Vanuatu PMW at 47 metres long with a draft of 3.2 metres and a beam of 10.9 metres. It has a useful payload capacity of around 450 tonnes according to its former owners. The PMW has been training to operate the vessel since at least March 2023, when a senior PMW inspector embedded with HMAS Canberra’s landing craft team, to develop the PMWs understanding of how to utilise the capability.

The Landing Craft was donated to the Vanuatu Police Force by the Australian Government, through the Vanuatu and Australia Defense Cooperation Program, in a move to improve bolster Vanuatu’s disaster response and humanitarian assistance capabilities. The landing craft is arriving earlier than anticipated, which has heightened their gratitude. The vessel is named after the first president of the Republic of Vanuatu, Ati George Sokomanu, and has received his formal endorsement.

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