Saab to provide communications system for future HMNZS Aotearoa

Saab has signed a contract to provide a complete communications system on board the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) future fleet replenishment vessel, HMNZS Aotearoa.

Saab will provide the TactiCall integrated communications system to its new Maritime Sustainment Capability vessel, which interconnects communication technologies regardless of radio band, frequency or hardware. Electronic Navigation Ltd (ENL) will provide in-service support as Saab’s partner in New Zealand.

This is the first sale in the region for Saab for a newly-built naval ship. The sale also marks the second sale of our multi-level secure version of TactiCall, which recently won NATO’s innovation award, the NITEC17 Defence Innovation Challenge.

Saab’s TactiCall integrated communications system is an operationally proven communications system in service today on board 20 different vessel classes in the navies of nine different countries.

HMNZS Aotearoa (A12):

HMNZS Aotearoa (A12) is a supply tanker being built for the New Zealand Royal Navy (RNZN) under the Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) program by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The ship will replace the 30-year old tanker HMNZS Endeavour. It will be able to refuel ships, carry and refuel helicopters, produce and store water, and store and transport bulk goods.

With a displacement of around 24,000 tons, HMNZS Aotearoa will be the biggest ship ever operated by the New Zealand Navy.

The tanker will be ice-strengthened and ‘winterised’ for operations in Antarctica and is designed for Polar Class 6 resistance. This will allow the ship to deliver fuel and other goods to support the Scott Base and McMurdo Station, during the summer months once an icebreaker has cleared a path.

The ship can hold 8,000 tons of fuel for ships, 1500 tons of aviation fuel, 250 tons of drinking water, eight standardized 20-foot containers for food, and four others with ammunition. A crane with a load capacity of 25 tonnes will be used to handle the cargo.

There will be one supply station on each side, so the tanker will be able to supply two ships at once. It will also be equipped with desalination equipment to produce up to 100 tons of drinking water per day.

The armament consists of a 20mm Mk.15 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) and two Mini Typhoon Remote Weapon System (RWS).

The vessel will carry two Juliet 3 (J3) Water Jet rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB). There will be a landing area and hangar for one NH90 helicopter on the ship.

The Combined Diesel Electric and Diesel (CODLAD) propulsion system of the ship uses two Bergen main engines and four MTU diesel generators and enables a top speed of the vessel will be around 16 knots.

The commissioning of the vessel is scheduled for 2020.

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