Navy takes delivery of HMNZS Wellington   6 May 2010

New Zealand Government - The Navy accepted the second of its new Offshore Patrol Vessels from shipbuilder BAE Systems Australia at a ceremony in Melbourne this morning.

HMNZS Wellington is the last of the seven-strong Protector fleet to enter service.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and Associate Defence Minister Heather Roy said the acceptance was a major landmark for the Navy.

Dr Mapp said that completing the Protector fleet acquisition has been a top priority for the Government.

“Getting delivery of the OPVs has been one of our critical Defence priorities in Government. The acceptance of Wellington completes the arrival of a major new capability for the Navy. Wellington and Otago can perform the full range of maritime military capability from security missions and peacekeeping to border patrol and humanitarian and disaster relief, especially in the South Pacific,” he said.

“They will take over some of the longer-range work now done by the frigates Te Kaha and Te Mana. The frigates can be more focused on their tasks in the Naval Combat Force”

“The construction of these vessels is a great example of ANZAC defence industry co-operation. At the outset, Tenix (now BAE Australia) developed a programme to maximise New Zealand industry involvement in building the OPVs and several Northland engineering companies won sub-contracts for various construction aspects – including the hangar, funnel and bridge modules,” Mrs Roy said.

“The OPVs are a welcome addition to our national security capabilities. They add a new dimension to the RNZN’s capability to carry out the full range of tasks in our region, and will help the RNZN to achieve its goal of becoming the best small-nation navy in the world.

“I look forward to greeting HMNZS Wellington on its arrival at Devonport Naval Base early next month,” Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

 


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