Korean Shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has laid down a 173 m the fleet tanker on order for the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) on 13 August at HHI’s facilities in Ulsan. New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) announced the ceremony from official social publishing platform. The tanker was acquired under a USD323 million contract announced in 2016.
Aotearoa will displace 24,000 tonnes with an overall length of 166 m, an overall beam of 24.5 m, and a design draught of 8.5 m – making it the largest vessel to be operated by the RNZN.
The ship, has been described by the NZDF as one that is “built specifically to address global requirements of the New Zealand Defence Force and government agencies for deployment from Antarctica to the Arabian Gulf”. It will have liquid cargo capacity for 8,000 tonnes of diesel fuel, 1,550 tonnes of aviation fuel, and 250 tonnes of fresh water.