Delays must be contagious



It seems ours is not the only Navy that must contend with shipbuilding delays.

New Zealand today took possession of its offshore patrol vessel Otago – two years late. A range of issues delayed delivery, most notably the failure of both engines as the ship was about to leave on its maiden voyage. The ship limped back into port on one engine after that debacle. No doubt everyone was holding their breath (no pun intended) when the ship sailed from Melbourne earlier this week for the four-day voyage across the Tasman Sea. It’s no wonder that the New Zealand Navy opted to send the inshore patrol vessels Hawea and Taupo to accompany Otago.

If they can get this ship operational, it will greatly aid the New Zealand Navy. This class can go further offshore, stay at sea longer and conduct more challenging operations than the inshore patrol vessels. It will expand patrols and surveillance operations around New Zealand, the southern ocean and into the Pacific.

The highly automated offshore patrol vessels will have a core crew of 35, and can take an additional 34 people depending on tasking. They can conduct helicopter and boarding operations, and are ice strengthened for work in the Southern Ocean. The ships have top speeds of 25 mph and a range of 6,000 nautical miles.


About Author

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.

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