The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has given further details, including winterisation features, of the new 24,000-tonne fleet tanker that will replace HMNZS Endeavour, which is due to retire in 2019.
The details were revealed in an interview with IHS Jane's in November 2016 during a visit to Auckland for the service's 75th anniversary celebrations.
The New Zealand government announced in July 2016 that it has approved the RNZN's plans to acquire a new fleet tanker for NZD493 million (USD342 million).
"The RNZN's requirements called for a platform capable of sustaining a task force with marine and aviation fuel, dry stores, food, water, and ammunition, but also incorporating a limited sealift capacity to support ground forces and undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster relief [HADR] operations," said Commander Des Tiller, project director of the fleet tanker acquisition programme at the RNZN.
"We also stipulated that the ship should capable of carrying out missions in the challenging Antarctic environment as far south as the Ross Sea and McMurdo Sound, and be able to operate in weather conditions up to Sea State 9 and conduct unrestricted RAS [replenishment-at-sea] and helicopter operations in Sea State 5," he said.
The RNZN initiated its plans to procure a multipurpose replenishment platform to replace the 1988-build Endeavour in 2012.
A request for information (RFI) for the platform was issued in April 2013 under the country's Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) project, while a request for tender (RFT) was released in March 2015.
Tender responses were submitted by South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in a teaming arrangement with BMT Defence Services, Germany's Flensburger Shipyard, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in partnership with Rolls-Royce, and the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia.
Following a competitive tender process, HHI was selected in December 2015 as the preferred bidder, and was awarded the contract in July 2016.
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