“New Zealand is seeking industry info to build Antarctic patrol vessel” –DefenseNews

DefenseNews reports,

“The New Zealand Defence Force has issued a request for information on design and build solutions for an eventual ice-strengthened offshore patrol vessel that the Royal New Zealand Navy would operate in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic’s Ross Sea for at least four months per year.”

“The RFI anticipates the ship will be 295-377 feet in length (90 to 115 meters-Chuck), with accommodations for 100 people, including 60 crew members, 30 scientific staff and a military helicopter flight crew of 10. The RFI cautions that the ship will traverse “one of the roughest seas in the world.” Waves in the region regularly exceed 33 feet and some are more than 66 feet high.”

The video above, used in this 2014 post, New Zealand’s “OPC” (OPV) in Action, gives a taste of their anticipated operations.

Really sounds like they may be looking at something like Canada’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship, but it would require additional accommodations and greater range.

Where will it be built? Not a clue really. New Zealand does not have the shipyard. The latest New Zealand Navy ship, HMNZS Aotearoa, was built in Korea. Their two frigates and two OPVs were built in Australia. Their two frigates recently went through an extensive renovation in Canada. If, as the linked article suggests, either Damen or Fincantieri get the contract, it could be built in Europe, possibly with the basic construction done in Eastern Europe and fitting out completed in Western Europe.

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