The New Zealand Navy has taken delivery of offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington in Melbourne, Australia.

Wellington, the sister ship of HMNZS Otago, is the seventh and last ship in the A$500m Project Protector.

Navy chief Rear Admiral Tony Parr said both the patrol ships had been specifically built to conduct surveillance and military operations around New Zealand’s exclusive economic zones, the Southern Ocean and the Pacific.

“They could operate further offshore than existing navy patrol vessels, stay at sea longer, and conduct more challenging operations using their helicopter capability, sea-boats and embarked forces,” he said.

“With the completion of Project Protector, the navy can deliver the full range of operations from combat and security missions to peacekeeping, border patrol and humanitarian and disaster relief.”

The delivery of HMNZS Wellington allows the navy to operate a fleet of 12 ships while the new patrol vessel is preparing for its maiden voyage to New Zealand.