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GEOFF SLOCOMBE // NEW ZEALAND
NEWS FROM ACROSS THE TASMAN
PLANNED NZDF MARITIME DOMAIN
CAPABILITY BY 2030
As part of a coalition, maritime forces ensure control
of the sea to enable freedom of action for combat
forces and other maritime elements. The NZDF
currently maintains a credible naval combat force
of frigates; a logistics replenishment and support
force which can operate around the world; strategic
sealift assets; a patrol force that operates in New
Zealand’s maritime zone, the South Pacific, and the
Southern Ocean; and a littoral operations force that
supports operations from the sea onto land. Maritime
combat helicopters can be embarked on the frigates,
amphibious support ship, offshore patrol vessels and
from 2020 the new supply ship.
The information below is abstracted from the NZDF’s
2016 Defence Capability Plan.
The ANZAC frigates, HMNZS TE KAHA and TE MANA
and their integrated capability systems are the only
NZDF maritime force element capable of operating
across the spectrum of operations, from constabulary
and humanitarian tasks to combat roles as part of a
multinational coalition. They can also protect other
vessels such as logistic support ships, and their naval
gunfire capability provides support to land operations.
Additional reach, surveillance, anti-surface and anti-
submarine capabilities are provided by the embarked
SH-2G(I) Seasprite maritime combat helicopter.
The current Frigate Systems Upgrade project,
designed to address the frigates’ sensor and weapon
obsolescence, and restore the ships’ ability to defend
against contemporary air, surface and underwater
threats, is under contract with Lockheed Martin Canada.
On completion of the upgrades, the frigates will provide
the government with a wider range of maritime combat
options by being able to more effectively contribute to
regional and global security operations, and provide
improved support to amphibious forces.
The ANZAC frigates are scheduled to be replaced
with modern surface combatants relevant to the
prevailing strategic environment in the late 2020s
and early 2030s. Introduction of the new ships will be
phased with the withdrawal from service of the existing
ANZAC frigates. Current planning is for an indicative
business case to be presented to Government in
2019, a detailed one in 2023, and an implementation
business case in 2026.
Acquisition of an ice-strengthened offshore patrol
vessel for Southern Ocean operations will take
place in the early 2020s. As well as increasing New
Zealand’s capacity for sub-Antarctic operations, the
new vessel will meet new regulatory requirements
under the International Polar Code coming into effect
in 2018.The new off-shore patrol vessel will also be
able to conduct surveillance, patrol, interception,
search and rescue, and limited logistic support
in the South Pacific. Business cases presented
to Government during 2018-2019 should enable
acquisition to proceed swiftly.
Upgrades to the communications systems of the
two in-service OPVs will be complete prior to 2020,
and a series of mid-life upgrades to their propulsion
and sensor systems will take place in the mid-2020s,
extending their life into the 2030s.
NAVAL SEALIFT AND SUSTAINMENT
Sealift capabilities enable land operations, particularly
in the South Pacific, through the deployment of troops
and stores from the sea to land, supported by command
and control elements and embarked helicopters. Sealift
allows the Defence Force to respond from the sea to
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief situations
across our region.
HMNZS CANTERBURY, the Navy multi-role
vessel, is able to deploy troops, vehicles, supplies,
and containerised storage across our region.
CANTERBURY can also transport all of the Air Force’s
types of helicopter to distant locations. By 2020,
upgrades to communications systems on-board the
ship will be complete. Replacement of the ship’s
embarked landing craft will take place in the early
2020s, alongside a mid-life upgrade of essential
mission and platform systems. These upgrades will
enable the ship to continue to operate at full capacity
into the 2030s.
The Navy’s replenishment capability, currently
represented by the tanker HMNZS ENDEAVOUR,
provides refuelling to both New Zealand and coalition
naval vessels at sea. Her replacement has already been
ordered from Hyundai Heavy Industries and should be
commissioned in 2020.
Littoral capabilities undertake mine counter-measures
operations, and support amphibious operations in
low to medium threat environments with obstruction
clearance, hydrography and dive support.
The Littoral Operations Support Capability (LOSC)
project will deliver a new vessel in the early 2020s.
The LOSC will support the Navy’s Littoral Warfare
Support Force, enabling maritime forces to operate
as an advance force, conduct short-notice, short-
duration rapid environmental assessment missions to
prepare local and regional ports, inshore waters and
beachheads for maritime and amphibious operations
in a national or coalition task force. The vessel
will support training and operations, hydrographic
surveying, mine counter-measures and other littoral
warfare support activities.
The vessel will have enhanced self-protection and
command and control capabilities, which will increase
the range of operations the Defence Force can
undertake independently in the South Pacific.
It will be able to supplement HMNZS CANTER-
BURY’s humanitarian and disaster response
capabilities, and will provide an additional
deployment option for international coalition
NZDF MAKES WORLD-FIRST
SOUTHERN LAUNCH TO STUDY
The NZDF has launched a scientific device – a moored
wave buoy with 500 kg of attached shackle – about
10 kilometres south of remote Campbell Island in the
Southern Ocean to study waves described as “liquid
Himalayas”. It is the furthest south such a device has
ever been launched.
The wave buoy, which is part of a collaborative project
between the Defence Technology Agency (DTA) and
MetOcean Solutions, was launched from offshore patrol
vessel HMNZS OTAGO. The ship was on a resupply
mission to sub-Antarctic Campbell Island from 7-20
February to support other government agencies.
24/02/2017 2:51 PM
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