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Sea Platforms

New Zealand’s future hydrography ship begins sea trials

14 March 2019
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The future HMNZS Manawanui, seen here in Royal New Zealand Navy livery and hull number. Source: Royal New Zealand Navy

Key Points

  • A hydrographic and diving support vessel meant for the Royal New Zealand Navy has begun trials to validate its naval equipment
  • The service is on track to operate the ship by November

The Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN's) future hydrographic and diving support vessel, which will be known as HMNZS Manawanui once commissioned, has received its service livery and begun a series of sea trials off the coast of Denmark.

The trials are being used to confirm that naval equipment on board the ship are performing as expected, the RNZN said via its official social media account on 15 March. Images of the vessel accompanying the post indicate the hull number as A 09, although the ship's original name, Edda Fonn , is being retained until closer to its commissioning ceremony.

The 85 m vessel arrived in Frederikshavn, Denmark, from Norway in February, according to data from IHS Markit's Maritime Portal. It was previously in service as a commercial offshore support vessel and had arrived in Denmark to be fitted out according to RNZN requirements.

Edda Fonn was acquired by the New Zealand government in 2018 for NZD103 million (USD70 million). It was procured to fulfil operational gaps in the RNZN's diving support and maritime survey capabilities following the retirements of its hydrographic ship HMNZS Resolution in 2012 and dive tender HMNZS Manawanui in 2018.

Edda Fonn is 84.7 m long, has an overall beam of 18 m, a hull draught of 6.3 m, and is equipped with a 100-tonne salvage crane. Powered by four diesel-electric engines driving two azimuth propulsion systems, the 5,700-tonne vessel can reach a top speed of 13 kt.

The vessel can accommodate a core crew of 39, with 27 more bunks for mission-specific personnel.

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