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New Zealand explores modular ship designs for future naval fleet

11th September 2023 - 19:00 GMT | by Tim Fish in Auckland


The RNZN's newest ship, tanker HMNZS Aotearoa at Devonport (foreground left) with the two ageing ANZAC frigates (background right). The frigate replacement project was delayed in the DCP 2019 but this presents an opportunity for a common hull replacement vessel across the wider fleet. (Photo: author)

The New Zealand Ministry of Defence has started an industry engagement effort that aims to gather information about the future make-up of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), with a modular fleet based on just one or two basic ship designs being considered.

The industry engagement documentation, published on 8 September, warns that most of the RNZN fleet will reach the end of its service life in the mid-2030s and will need replacing.

However, it said that: 'Rather than taking a "life-for-like" approach to replacement, there is a unique opportunity to consider alternative fleet configurations, alternative ways to operate and alternative approaches to support the fleet in the upcoming Defence Capability Plan (DCP).'

The MoD is asking for proposed concepts for future fleet configurations that will meet its existing capability requirements, outlining: the numbers and types of ships; use of autonomous systems, helicopters

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Tim Fish


Tim Fish

Tim Fish is a special correspondent for Shephard Media. Formerly the editor of Land Warfare …

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