The Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana triumphantly sailed into Waitemat? Harbour today and received a well-deserved Ceremonial Homecoming following the completion of a three-year frigate systems upgrade in Canada. As gun salutes from ship and shore rang around the harbour, more than 700 excited friends and family lined the wharf and greeted the 175-strong crew with a mix of cheers, banners and helium balloons and cries of excitement. A rousing haka was performed by sailors on the wharf as the ship came alongside and this received an equally passionate response from the ship’s company. Also welcoming the ship and crew back home were the Minister of Defence Peeni Henare, Secretary of Defence Andrew Bridgman, and Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor.
“With the upgraded HMNZS Te Kaha already home, the return of HMNZS Te Mana marks the next step in the restoration of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s combat capability. Once their modern systems have been fully introduced, the frigates will provide Aotearoa with high-end options over the full range of maritime operations. Te Kaha and Te Mana will be able to deploy through the IndoPacific and anywhere in the world to advance our national interests, including providing maritime security alongside our partners where needed,” Rear Admiral Proctor said.
The upgrade programme was managed by the Ministry of Defence and carried out by Lockheed Martin Canada, which delivered new radars, electronic detection and other above-water systems, the self-defence missile system, decoys against missiles and torpedoes, and an upgrade to the hull-mounted sonar, along with the combat management system that integrates these. The upgrade work was critical for the Navy as it means New Zealand could now make an even bigger contribution in the region, and globally when working with international military partners. Te Mana will shortly undertake a series of trials, tests, and exercises, allowing for the progressive release of the ship’s operational capabilities.
HMNZS Te Mana (F111) is one of ten Anzac-class frigates and one of two serving in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). The name Te Mana is M?ori, approximately translating as ‘status’ or ‘authority’. The ship was laid down under the joint Anzac project by Tenix Defence at Williamstown, Victoria in 1996, launched in 1997, and commissioned into the RNZN in 1999. Anzac frigates can combat simultaneous threats from the air, surface and sub-surface. This makes these ships a vital component in maintaining regional security. Te Mana is crewed by up to 178 sailors from the vast majority of branches and trades in the Navy, trained to operate the ship in environments from the cold of the Southern Ocean to the heat of the Arabian Sea, in peacetime and in combat situations.