Home Asia Pacific Royal New Zealand Navy receives its largest vessel ever

Royal New Zealand Navy receives its largest vessel ever

HMNZS Aotearoa
Royal New Zealand Navy photo of HMNZS Aotearoa

The Royal New Zealand Navy received its largest ship to date as South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries hosted a send-off ceremony for the future HMNZS Aotearoa from its Ulsan shipyard on June 10.

The ship was delivered following its launch in April 2019 and after work officially started with a keel laying ceremony in 2018.

According to the shipbuilder, Aotearoa will be escorted by a South Korean Navy ship en route to its new home in New Zealand.

The fleet tanker and support ship is designed to provide logistical support to maritime, land and air units, replacing the HMNZS Endeavour, which was also built by Hyundai Shipyard in the 1980s.

Aotearoa’s primary purpose will be fuel resupply but the ship will also supply dry goods, water, spare parts or ammunition, with missions including humanitarian and disaster relief, and Antarctic resupply among others.

The ship’s design features a wave-piercing hull for increased stability and a flight deck and hangar for a Seasprite or an NH90 helicopter. It will be capable of carrying twelve 20-foot shipping containers, freshwater generation plants, self-defense systems, aviation and marine fuel cargo tanks, and dual replenishment-at-sea rigs.

The ship is also ice-strengthened in order to be able to resupply McMurdo Station and Scott Base in the Antarctic. The 173-meter ship displaces 26,000 tons and has a complement of 64.

The Royal New Zealand Navy will formally commission Aotearoa at the Devonport Naval Base.

Photo: Royal New Zealand Navy