18 Februari 2010
HMNZS Otago - Offshore Patrol Vessel (photo : krblog)
The Navy has taken possession of the first of the Protector fleet Offshore Patrol Vessels, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and Associate Defence Minister Heather Roy said today.
"HMNZS Otago was handed over to the Navy by shipbuilder BAE Systems Australia at an acceptance ceremony held in Melbourne this afternoon," the Ministers said.
"Getting delivery of the OPVs has been one of our critical Defence priorities in Government. Through a successful mediation process we have resolved contract issues to a point where these ships will do the job they are designed for, and do it well," Dr Mapp said.
"The OPVs complete the Protector fleet. They bring a major new capability to the Navy. They 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.
Otago - scale model (photo : hmnzsotago)
Mrs Roy said the construction of the OPVs is a great example of ANZAC defence industry co-operation.
"At the outset, Tenix (now BAE Systems 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.
"Designed for a full range of inter-agency missions, these vessels are a welcome addition to our national security capabilities. I look forward to visiting and sailing on them at the first opportunity," she said.
"Our Navy aims to be the best small-nation navy in the world. The OPVs will add a new dimension to its ability to carry out the full range of tasks in our region," the Ministers said.
Otago is due to arrive at the Devonport Naval Base on 26 March. The second OPV, Wellington, will be accepted in mid-April and arrive later that month.