Sep 17, 2010

Future of the New-Zealand Navy

Only able to conduct small peacekeeping ops in the Pacific/Indian Ocean’s (frigates excepted), but asked thee more ?

Coastlines: 15 134 km (9 398 mi).
The country claims the seventh-largest EEZ in the world, covering over four million square kilometres (1.5 million sq mi), more than 15 times its land area.

Personnal strength
(January 2010): +/- 2900 (+ 2500 volunteer)
Regular: 2162; Naval-Reserve: 338; Civilian: 400; Coast-Guard: +/- 2500 volunteer.

1 Sealift Ro-Ro ship
1 Canterburry
“Canterburry”, 9000 tons Ro-Ro (derived from the commercial Ro-Ro "Ben-My-Chree" design). Commissioned by 2007, with probable 25+ year service life expected, to be retired during 2030's. The ship experienced initially some troubles (& even more worse, some initial specification not reached).

2 Small Landing Crats
50/100 tons, 23 meters.

2 Frigates
2 Anzac
“Te Kaha, Te Mana”. 3600 tons multi-purpose frigates from the Anzac program. Commissioned by 1997/1999, with probable +/- 30 year service life, to be retired by 2027/2029.

These 2 vessels will most likely be replaced by 2 future frigates of the same design of future Australian frigates (it intended to replace the Anzac’s, by late 2010’s/late 2020’s). It is very likely that the New Zealand Navy, with limited financial capability, will participate in the Australian project, to reduce the cost of acquisitions.

1 Fleet Tanker
1 Endeavour
“Endeavour”, 7000/12 000 tons, commissioned by 1988. With probable 30 year service life, to be retired by late 2010’s/early 2020.

2 Ocean Patrol Vessels
2 Otago
“Otago, Wellington”, 1900 tons, 85 meters. Commissioned by 2008/2009. Considerable troubles experienced (overweight problems, initial requirement not fully reached). With probable +/- 25 year service life expected, to be retired by 2033.

4 Mid Shore Patrol Vessels
4 Rotoiti
“Rotoiti, Hawea, Pukaki, Taupo”, 340 tons, 55 meters. Commissioned by 2009, with probable +/- 20/25 year service life expected, to be retired by 2030/2033.

1 ocean survey vessel
1 Resolution
“Resolution”, 2200 tons, 68 meters (ex US Stalwart class ships built in the 1980’s, transferred by 1997). Likely to be replaced late 2010's/early 2020's by a civilian loaned (or built) ship ?

1 Diving support ship
1 Manawanui
“Manawanui”, 900 tons, 43 meters. Commissioned by 1988, likely to be retired by late 2010's/early 2020's.

Naval aviation
5 helico
5 Kaman SH-2G Seasprite. (newly built seaframe), Delivered by 2001/2003.

Royal New Zealand Coast Guard (civilian volunteer, SAR use)
+/- 75 various small crafts
(9,5 meters RHIB, few small rescue crafts)

2 helico or aircrafts?

In the recent years, the Royal New Zealand Navy has modernized considerably its surface fleet (newer Sealift/Patrol ships). But the country’s limited resources ($, population), coupled with a “specific” New Zealand policy/strategy, require the Navy to have a naturally reduced format. But this small size is probably a bit too small, because the country has vast areas of ocean in the south Pacific (the seventh largest Exclusive Economic Zone of the world, with 4 million square kilometers). 2 furthers Ocean Patrol Vessel, 3 furthers Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels, few long range UAV and few additionnal SAR helico……would not be too.

Next fleet review/editorial: Future of the Portuguese Navy.

As usual, It may be that in my opinion, I forgot programs ? (or made few mistakes ?), then said it ! Feel free to comment and give your opinion !


  1. hit the nail on the head when it comes to needing more naval resources altough with project protector finally coming online we are in a better shape than a few years back. The problem is in the near future new ships are very unlikely to be brought except for replacements for Endeavour, Resoulution and Manawanui all support vessels. although we will have to wait and see what the white paper comes up with when it released shortly.

    however ive heard rumors on the UAV side of things and they say the MOD is keeping a close eye on developments of a maritime version of the global hawk and other similar projects

    just two things to note Canterbury isnt an LPD. It's effectivly just a ro-ro ship with a heli deck and two landing craft which are loaded via a stern ramp and two cranes on the either side of the ship.

    and secondly the coast guard as you mentioned is a volunteer organisation but has no patrol functions etc as its purely a local SAR unit with minimal organic air support (couple of light spotter planes at best) and is not considered a military unit.

    really good overview though and its nice to see someone mention us everyone seems to forget we're down here sometimes :P

  2. Thanks Ben for these details about the New Zealand Navy