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FarSounder Sonar for Royal New Zealand Navy Future HMNZS Aotearoa Tanker

FarSounder's flagship forward-looking sonar, the FarSounder-1000, is the latest cutting-edge gear slated to equip the Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN) future fleet replenishment tanker, HMNZS Aotearoa (A12). The company's longest range sonar will provide real-time 3D data on what is ahead as the tanker navigates the seas giving the vessel's crew an elevated level of safety and security.

FarSounder Sonar for Royal New Zealand Navy Future HMNZS Aotearoa Tanker (Picture source: Royal New Zealand Navy)

HMNZS Aotearoa is a Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) Vessel that is bound for use by the New Zealand Defense Force under the maritime arm, the RNZN. This new naval tanker will be replacing HMNZS Endeavour, a veteran ship in the RNZN scheduled for decommissioning in the near future. With construction underway in South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard, this naval tanker will be the largest vessel in the RNZN fleet and be equipped with ice-strengthened and winterized steel for a full range of New Zealand Defense Force operations in Antarctica. This state-of-the-art technology along with a FarSounder-1000 aboard, the HMNZS Aotearoa is the perfect ship to take over these duties of the aging HMNZS Endeavour.

Royal New Zealand Navy HMNZS Aotearoa(Picture source: Royal New Zealand Navy)

Additionally, the tanker will be suitable for a number of missions, from logistics support to maritime protection, to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. FarSounder's innovative sonar will be a paramount addition to the 24,000-metric ton vessel as it carries out operations in disaster zones with dangerous debris and changing seafloors. It will also be important in missions in the always challenging Antarctic environment.

FarSounder's South Korean dealer, Oceantech Co., is the facilitator for this project responsible for delivering the FarSounder-1000 for installation. The vessel's expected delivery date to its home port in New Plymouth is January 2020, with operations set to commence March 2021.

Our video coverage on the design at Euronaval 2016

About HMNZS Aotearoa
HMNZS Aotearoa will replace the fleet tanker HMNZS Endeavour that decommissions next year after more than 30 years of loyal service. Aotearoa will boast state of the art design and capability features including ice-strengthening and ‘winterisation’ features for operations in Antarctica. She will also be able to carry 12 containers of supplies and have the ability to produce 100 tonnes of fresh water each day which will make her invaluable when providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

She will carry 8,000 tonnes of diesel fuel which is enough to ‘fill up’ a frigate like Te Mana or Te Kaha 13.87 times. And she’ll be able to carry and operate a RNZAF NH90 helicopter. Aotearoa will have a core crew of 64 plus 11 flight crew.

The 24,000-tonne vessel is set to become the largest vessel ever operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy. It will be launched in March next year, and enter service in 2020.

New Zealand's Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee announced in July 2016 that HHI of South Korea won a contract to build and deliver a new tanker for the Royal New Zealand Navy. HHI beat rival DSME in the tender worth close to $500 million.

The original requirements as drafted by the New Zealand Navy included the capability of refuelling and sustaining the Joint Task Force both at-sea and from-the-sea as well as the ability to support ground forces, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, primarily within the Pacific region.