Local New Zealand businesses are set to reap the benefits of a partnership between Babcock and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) which will conduct maintenance and upgrade works on two decommissioned Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Inshore Patrol Vessels before they are sold to the Republic of Ireland. Babcock and NZDF will regenerate and modify the ships – ex HMNZS Rotoiti and HMNZS Pukaki – to operational seaworthiness standards, supported by Babcock’s extensive supply chain across the New Zealand marine and defence industry. The scope of works will include overhaul of main and auxiliary engines, docking of both vessels for hull preservation, propeller and rudder overhaul, inspection, service, and commissioning of all electric, mechanical, hydraulic and communication systems, required to return the vessels to Lloyds Class.
Babcock Australasia Managing Director Defence, Andy Davis, said: “We will partner with up to 30 local businesses to deliver this project, through a range of contracts with a total value of approximately NZ$15 million. Our trusted suppliers and subcontractors are a key part of our capability and they will play a critical role on this project as another great demonstration of what New Zealand industry can achieve together. This work demonstrates how the NZDF and Babcock partnership is focussed on building long term collaborative relationships with New Zealand businesses. This will continue to deliver broader economic outcomes and provide increasing access to government defence work for these supporting businesses.”
Additional activities include modifying the vessels so they are compatible with the equipment fit of the current Irish Naval fleet. Built in Whang?rei and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2009, during their service the two Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) have been deployed on search and rescue, fishery monitoring, border security and maritime surveillance operations around New Zealand’s 15,000km coastline. Babcock has a history of working with the Irish Naval Service, having built the P60 Samuel Beckett Class of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).
The Lake-class inshore patrol vessel (also known as the Rotoiti class and the Protector class) is a ship class of inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) which replaced the RNZN’s Moa-class patrol boats in 2007–2008. All four vessels are named after New Zealand lakes. Pukaki was launched in Whangarei Harbour on 6 May 2008. Its primary duties included border and fisheries protection patrols, surveillance, boarding operations and search and rescue response. Pukaki was the third ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy and is named after Lake Pukaki. Rotoiti was fitted out in Whangarei and on 20 November 2007 started contractor sea trials. After delays due to problems with gear and fittings, she was commissioned on 17 April 2009. Rotoiti is named after Lake Rotoiti.