New Zealand Adds One of a Kind Ice Class Underway Replenishment Vessel

HMNZS Aotearoa Logistics Support Vessel

Naval News reports that the New Zealand Navy has commissioned what I believe is a one of a kind vessel, a Polar class underway replenishment vessel, HMNZS Aotearoa (not that it is an icebreaker, no icebreaking bow).

There is an excellent description of this ship here.

(Anyone know if the Polar Security cutters can do underway replenishment?)

Unlike US Navy replenishment ships, this will be armed and have a military crew.

I doubt the ice-strengthening and winterization really cost a whole lot. With the Arctic opening up, maybe the Navy should be thinking about something like this.

49 Foot Ice Capable Self-Righting Boat

Estonian builder Baltic Workboats has delivered a newbuild vessel to Szczecin Pilot, a Polish harbour pilots’ association that operates primarily in the Szczecin-Swinoujscie region.

Baird Maritime brings us a report on a boat with characteristics very similar to a Motor Lifeboat, but with an additional capability I had not even thought about for this type vessel until now. It is ice capable.

“The hull is reinforced to withstand light ice conditions relevant to the southern Baltic and Danish waters, a necessity for the vessel’s operational area of Poland’s Świnoujście and Szczecin harbours. She can handle 30 centimetres (about 12 inches–Chuck) of broken ice or five centimetres (about 2 inches–Chuck) solid ice at up to five knots.”

The boat’s surface piercing bow design is claimed to reduce vertical acceleration 40% and improve fuel economy up to 30%.

Dimensions are:

  • Length: 14.95 m (49′)
  • Beam: 4.5 m (14’9″)
  • Draft: 1.33 m (4’4″)

Max Speed: 27 knots

The wheelhouse offers nearly 360-degree visibility. The captain has a center position with uninterrupted views of the deck and boarding areas with additional skylight windows.