New Zealand ordered a new $348 million naval tanker from Hyundai in South Korea to replace the replenishment tanker that is nearly three decades old.

Powered by diesel engines driving twin props, the ship will have provision for the installation of two mini-typhoons and a Phalanx CIWS for self-defense.The tender requires a deck with a capacity for at least 12 TEU containers in a single tier. The tanker replaces the HMNZS Endeavour, commissioned in April 1988.

"This vessel will be significantly larger, will be able to refuel two ships at a time while underway, carry and refuel Defence Force helicopters, produce and store water, and store and transport bulk goods," New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said. "The Government has also opted to include ice-strengthening and winterisation features, representing a very useful enhanced capability when compared to the current tanker. This will allow it to deliver fuel and other goods to support Scott Base and McMurdo Station, during summer months once an icebreaker has cleared a path."

The tender for the maritime sustainment capability specified a range of 6450nm at 16 knots (compared with Endeavour’s range of 10,000nm and 14 knots) and requires the new ship to spend up to 160 days at sea each year. 

The new ship shall be able to operate, maintain and have hangar space for any one of the existing NZ Defence Force helicopter types, including the NH90, SH-2G, and the A109. The HMNZS Endeavour is unable to operate helicopters and is scheduled for decommissioning in 2018, two years before the replacement ship's expected delivery.

More In Naval