RNZN Tanker Aotearoa Hits the Water
The Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) first purpose-built ship in 10 years, the HMNZS Aotearoa, was launched at Hyundai Heavy Industries’s Ulsan shipyard in South Korea.
The HMNZS Aotearoa auxiliary ship was constructed at the Hyundai Heavy Industries dry dock under a USD327 million contract. In 2020, it will replace the Navy’s latest replenishment oiler, the HMNZS Endeavour, which was decommissioned in 2017.
“Seeing a ship of this size and capability on the water nearing full completion is a really exciting time for our Navy,” said Rear Admiral Proctor.
“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,” he added.
At 173m long, Aotearoa is the largest ship the RNZN has ever had in the fleet. It boasts state of the art design and capability features including ice-strengthening and ‘winterisation’ for operations in Antarctica.
She will operate as a fleet tanker, a supply ship and has the ability to produce 100 tonnes of fresh water each day – critical when providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Aotearoa now begins six months of fit out before her formal naming ceremony in Ulsan, South Korea, attended by the Governor-General of New Zealand and Aotearoa’s ship sponsor, Dame Patsy Reddy. The Commissioning of the ship will take place at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland in early 2020.