IPV of the RNZN (photo : Defencetalk)
WELLINGTON - The first of four 340-ton Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) for the Royal New Zealand Navy is to be commissioned April 17, with the remaining three IPVs delivered by the end of May.
Part of the 500 million New Zealand dollar ($294.3 million) Project Protector fleet ordered in 2004, including two 1,600-ton Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), all six ships were originally due to be delivered during 2007.
The IPVs were built at the New Zealand port of Whangarei and launched between September 2007 and September 2008. Their delivery has been delayed because of contractual arguments regarding their sea boats.
Similar arguments have delayed delivery of the two OPVs, launched in Melbourne, Australia, in November 2006 and October 2007. New Zealand Navy sources said they hope the OPVs will be delivered in June or July.
However, although negotiations continue between the New Zealand Ministry of Defence and the ships' builder, BAES Australia (formerly Tenix), mediation is scheduled to begin May 25.