FarSounder’s flagship forward-looking sonar, the FarSounder-1000, is the latest cutting-edge gear slated to equip the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) future fleet replenishment tanker, HMNZS Aotearoa (A12). The company’s longest range sonar will provide real-time 3D data on what is ahead as the tanker navigates the seas giving the vessel’s crew an elevated level of safety and security.
HMNZS Aotearoa is a Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) Vessel that is bound for use by the New Zealand Defense Force under the maritime arm, the RNZN. This new naval tanker will be replacing HMNZS Endeavour, a veteran ship in the RNZN scheduled for decommissioning in the near future. With construction underway in South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard, this naval tanker will be the largest vessel in the RNZN fleet and be equipped with ice-strengthened and winterized steel for a full range of New Zealand Defense Force operations in Antarctica. This state-of-the-art technology along with a FarSounder-1000 aboard, the HMNZS Aotearoa is the perfect ship to take over these duties of the aging HMNZS Endeavour.
Additionally, the tanker will be suitable for a number of missions, from logistics support to maritime protection, to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. FarSounder’s innovative sonar will be a paramount addition to the 24,000-metric ton vessel as it carries out operations in disaster zones with dangerous debris and changing seafloors. It will also be important in missions in the always challenging Antarctic environment.
FarSounder’s South Korean dealer, Oceantech Co., is the facilitator for this project responsible for delivering the FarSounder-1000 for installation. The vessel’s expected delivery date to its home port in New Plymouth is January 2020, with operations set to commence March 2021.