Built by South Korean firm Hyundai Heavy Industries, the new tanker is expected to be delivered in 2020 at a cost of $493 million.
The vessel will replace the 30-year-old tanker HMNZS Endeavour, which currently provides fuel to Royal New Zealand Navy and partner nations’ ships and and supplies fuel and fresh water to support land operations. Mr Brownlee says the new tanker will undertake a similar role, supporting a range of NZDF deployments, including maritime sustainment and humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
“The Defence Force can’t operate without fuel, water, ammunition and other bulk goods, and the most effective way to deliver fuel to ships, aircraft and vehicles deployed overseas is by tanker,” stated Mr Brownlee in an 18 July media release.
“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.