HMAS Ararat has a range of 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots and a maximum speed of about 25 knots, the Royal Australian Navy said.
Royal Australian Navy
Australian navy patrol boat in Mindanao for joint sea drill
Roel Pareño ( - October 14, 2019 - 5:44pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Royal Australian Navy and Philippine Navy launched Monday a weeklong combined maritime operation exercise in the seas of Sulu, officials said.

The Australian Navy's HMAS Ararat arrived early Monday in time for the joint maritime training with counterparts from Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

The Ararat, an Armidale-class patrol boat, is equipped with a 25-mm autocannon and two 12.7-mm machine guns. It can perform a variety of missions, including fisheries protection, immigration, customs and drug law enforcement operations, the Australian Navy says on its website.

The NFWM is deploying two patrol craft for the exercise.

The 9th Combined Royal Australian Navy and Philippine Navy Maritime Training Exercise formally commenced with a simple ceremony at Majini Pier in Naval Station Romulo Espaldon.

Richard Sisson, Australian Embassy deputy head of mission, said the Australian and Philippine navies benefit from extensive defense cooperation, military support and intelligence sharing.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Western Mindanao Command, said continuous exercises with the RAN over the past two years has improved the interoperability of the two navies.

He added the exercises also provide an immediate security boost in the area.

"This joint training exercise is very important with the very vast maritime domain that is covered by the Westmincom which required a lot of assets. Admittedly, our Philippine Navy has a limited number of floating assets, that's why it hard for us to secure all corners of that maritime domain," Sobejana said.

"So with this exercise, I believed that it is a very big deterrent so that the enemies of the state will think twice about passing the area where the exercise is being conducted."

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