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EEZ surveillance capabilities boosted: Commander Natuva

December 7, 2019 7:10 am

Only two years ago, the Fiji Navy had to rely on other foreign vessels to assist them with border surveillance with only one ship in operation.

Fast forward two years and there are six vessels in operation.

Navy Head of Operations, Commander Timoci Natuva says they will now be able to step up their border surveillance and monitoring in addition to conducting thorough oceanographic surveys.

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This as the Navy received a brand new research vessel this week from South Korea, the RFNS Volasiga.

“It gives us the flexibility because now we have RFNS Kula, RFNS Kikau and RFNS Kacau that can do those kinds of things, for RFNS Volasiga it’s basically a purely hydrographic vessel.”

Given the economic reliance on our ocean, Acting Defense Minister Dr. Mahendra Reddy says it’s even more critical that the Navy can ensure accessibility and safety.

“The safety and security of our people, our friends, and our visitors is paramount to the Ministry and ensuring the safety of our navigation, another key part of Fiji’s international maritime obligations under Safety of Life at sea.”

The Navy will also receive a Guardian Class Patrol boat from Australia next year under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

The patrol boat is the first of two vessels to be donated with the second scheduled to arrive in Fiji in 2023.

Meanwhile, renovation works at the Suva naval base began this week which includes the expansion of the berthing docks for the increasing Navy fleet.

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