New Zealand’s newest naval ship christened in S. Korea

Officials from South Korea and New Zealand, including Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (front, 4th from R) and Governor-General Patsy Reddy (front, 5th from R), attend a christening ceremony for a New Zealand logistics support vessel at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in the southeastern port of Ulsan on Oct. 25, 2019. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Oct 27, 2019, Yonhap. A cutting-edge New Zealand auxiliary naval vessel was officially named “Aotearoa” in South Korea, Seoul’s arms procurement agency said Saturday, reported the Yonhap.

The ceremony to officially name the tanker was held at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in the southeastern port city of Ulsan on Friday, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The South Korean shipbuilder, the world’s largest by sales, won the contract to build the sustainment vessel in 2016. It will replace the 12,000-ton Endeavour, which was built by Hyundai in 1987.

Aotearoa means New Zealand in the indigenous Maori language.

As the largest ship among New Zealand’s naval vessels, the 26,000-ton ship employs cutting-edge design and capability features, such as the latest control system and a hybrid propulsion system that boosts efficiency, DAPA said.

The tanker is expected to be delivered to the New Zealand navy in 2020 to support the country’s naval forces by supplying fuel, food and ammunition, according to DAPA.

Friday’s ceremony was attended by New Zealand’s Governor-General Patsy Reddy, Chief of Navy R. Adm. David Proctor, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, and DAPA chief Wang Jung-hong, it noted.

“I expect Aotearoa to be successfully delivered to New Zealand and navigate through deep waters around the globe,” Wang said, expressing hope for the enhancement of the bilateral partnership and defense industry cooperation through more such projects.

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