Recently in the Indonesian ASL (archipelagic sea lane) Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) HMNZS Aotearoa,formerly the Maritime Sustainment Capability project, met up with the Indonesian Navy’s (TNI AL) KRI Bontang. Aotearoa is the largest ship the Royal New Zealand Navy has operated. The two replenishment vessels conducted a range of serials including: flashing light exercises, tactical manoeuvring, replenishment approaches and manned ships side for a farewell pass. It was a great success and a perfect opportunity for positive engagement and interoperability between our regional navies.
HMNZS Aotearoa is an auxiliary ship of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Builder Hyundai Heavy Industries delivered the ship to the Navy in June 2020, and she was commissioned into service on 29 July 2020. Full operational capability was expected to be achieved in 2021. It will serve as a replenishment oiler, and has replaced HMNZS Endeavour, the Navy’s last fleet oiler, which was decommissioned in December 2017. Aotearoa is the world’s first naval ship to adopt the Rolls-Royce Environship concept design, which includes a new wave-piercing hull for reduced resistance and fuel consumption. The ship is ice-strengthened and winterised to facilitate operations in Antarctica’s extreme weather conditions.
KRI Bontang is an Indonesian Navy ship named after Bontang,a city on the eastern coast of the island of Borneo in Indonesia, in the province of East Kalimantan. KRI Bontang is a type of ship Auxiliary Liquid Petroleum (BCM) were first created by Indonesian local shipyard PT Dok and Shipping of Kodja Bahari. This ship weighs about 2,400 tons, a length of 122 meters. With 5,550 cubic meters of oil cargo capacity, the ship will join sister ship KRI Tarakan in providing fuel for other Indonesian Navy ships at sea. The replenishment vessel will initially be assigned to Natuna waters bordering the South China Sea to support Indonesian warships in the area. KRI Bontang was part of the Navy’s strategic five-year defense development plan and would replace older replenishment vessels .
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