The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) is set to welcome its Polar-class logistics support vessel HMNZS Aotearoa.

Delivery of the new 26k tonne Maritime Sustainment and Capability vessel followed a series of seven contractual sea trials.

Construction of the vessel took 28 months and was undertaken by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Ulsan, South Korea.

Earlier this week, RNZN’s largest tanker and replenishment ship departed from South Korea.

The vessel will focus on providing global sustainment to New Zealand and coalition maritime, air and land forces with fuel, ammunition and other equipment supplies.

In April 2017, SeaQuest Marine Project Management was contracted to oversee the construction of the vessel.

SeaQuest was also involved in a 3D design review and approval of plan by the RNZN.

Construction of the vessel has been as per Lloyds Register of Shipping standards and Nato and Naval Rules.

HMNZS Aotearoa has been ice strengthened to increase New Zealand’s ability to support Antarctic programmes. It has the ability to transfer liquid to two vessels simultaneously.

The ship is powered by a Rolls Royce-developed Combined Diesel Electric and Diesel (CODLAD) propulsion system.

Generating 250t of fresh water per day, the vessel is capable of enabling operation of all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) helicopters.

Aotearoa has a medical ward, a gymnasium, Wi-Fi connectivity in recreation spaces, a library, training facilities, and cabins.

SeaQuest CEO Jan Andersson said: “SeaQuest were tasked with the design review, plan approval and construction supervision of this challenging and advanced MSC Polar Class 6 vessel.

“This is the third time we have looked after a naval support ship, first from Royal Fleet Auxiliary UK, second from NDLO Norway and now from NZ Crown.”