The Royal New Zealand Navy has named its latest and largest vessel as HMNZS Aotearoa.
The 24,000t HMNZS Aotearoa will be delivered to the navy in January 2020, and will be the biggest ship ever operated by the New Zealand Navy.
Construction of the vessel is slated to begin next year.
Royal New Zealand Navy chief rear admiral John Martin said: “HMNZS Aotearoa will represent us as a nation on the international stage, whether conducting operational support, maritime sustainment or providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
“Aotearoa will be recognisable within the Pacific region and identifiable with all New Zealanders.”
HMNZS Aotearoa has twice the displacement capability of HMNZS Endeavour, which is scheduled for decommissioning next year.
It was be constructed by South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries, and will also be able to carry 30% more fuel than HMNZS Endeavour, which the new vessel is set to replace.
Martin added: “Aotearoa will have the ability to deploy anywhere in the world to support maritime operations and enhance our combat force.
“It has the ability to conduct embarked helicopter operations and will be capable of carrying a significant tonnage of operational supplies, and it will provide an important Antarctic support capability to assist with our Southern Ocean monitoring.”
HMNZS Aotearoa will be the world’s first naval ‘Environship’, with Hyundai using the Rolls-Royce Environship concept design under licence permission.
The vessel will feature a new wave-piercing hull that reduces resistance and lowers fuel use, while its combined diesel electric and diesel propulsion plant will have lower fuel emissions than older vessels.
Image: Computer-generated image of HMNZS Aotearoa. Photo: courtesy of Royal New Zealand Navy.