South Korea, New Zealand sign defence equipment accord

03 June 2019

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries launched a fleet replenishment vessel for New Zealand (pictured) in April. Under a new agreement, the vessel could also provide opportunities for technical collaboration between South Korea and New Zealand. Source: HHI

South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has signed an agreement with the New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MoD) to collaborate on defence development and production activity.

DAPA said in a statement on 4 June that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in Seoul between DAPA minister Wang Jung-hong and New Zealand’s Secretary of Defence Helene Quilter.

DAPA said that under the “military materiel co-operation agreement” the two sides will identify areas for their respective defence industries to collaborate on. Such activity could include information sharing and the joint production of military equipment, said DAPA.

Wang said, “This agreement is expected to serve as a foundation to further strengthen bilateral ties in defence industry co-operation.”

DAPA indicated that an immediate opportunity to support industrial collaboration could be linked to the Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN’s) acquisition of a fleet replenishment vessel currently under construction by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

HHI was awarded this contract, worth NZD493 million (USD325 million), in 2016 to meet the RNZN’s Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) requirement. The 173 m vessel – named Aotearoa – was launched in April and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020.

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