The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new replenishment and supply vessel has been launched by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea.
The future HMNZS Aotearoa was constructed by HHI under a US$327m (NZ$496m, A$468m) contract, and was launched on April 26 with the Chief of the New Zealand Navy, RADM David Proctor. The vessel features an ice-strengthened bow for operations in the Antarctic, and the ability to produce 100 tonnes of fresh water per day and to carry containers for supply and humanitarian disaster missions.
“Seeing a ship of this size and capability on the water nearing full completion is a really exciting time for our Navy,” RADM Proctor said in a statement. “Aotearoa will provide us with a world-class maritime sustainment capability. She is a ship that will carry our nation’s name with pride to all corners of the world as we advance New Zealand’s interests from the sea,
The new vessel will complete a six-month fitout before being formally named later this year. It is scheduled to be commissioned and to enter service in 2020 to replace HMNZS Endeavour which was decommissioned in 2017