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New ships one step closer

5 April 2004 Media Statement

New ships one step closer

Project Protector, the $500 million project to provide the Royal New Zealand Navy with new purpose built vessels, reached a significant milestone today.

Minister of Defence Mark Burton announced that Australian firm Tenix Defence Pty Ltd has been chosen as the preferred tenderer for the new vessels, with Damen Schelde ADI as second preference to provide the multi-role vessel.

“Project Protector will provide New Zealand’s Navy and civilian agencies with a multi-role vessel (MRV), capable of undertaking such tasks as tactical sealift and disaster relief in the Pacific, and patrol vessels to meet our inshore and offshore requirements.

“These ships will allow the Navy to patrol our EEZ more effectively, working in partnership with other agencies such as Fisheries and Customs, in their task of protecting our borders—one of the most important security roles in today’s global environment.

“Tenix’s bid meets Defence and civilian agency requirements, offers the best operational capability and the lowest risk, gives the best through life support, and is affordable within the approved budget.

“It’s also pleasing that Tenix’s bid will provide very significant local and domestic industry involvement, which will support real jobs locally and generate benefits to a wide range of New Zealand and Australian companies. Tenix has been involved with the Anzac frigate project for 12 years, which has delivered considerable economic benefits to New Zealand. Project Protector will offer the opportunity for continuing economic flow-through.”

Project Protector fleet requirements were outlined in the 2002 Maritime Forces Review, conducted by Defence, working in close cooperation with a number of other agencies to identify their requirements for surface patrol. This involved extensive work with MFAT, the Ministry of Fisheries, Customs, Treasury, the Maritime Safety Authority, and Police, among others.

The review detailed the need for sealift capability, inshore and offshore patrol matched to New Zealand’s demanding maritime environments, and the ability to conduct at-sea Naval training. All the vessels purchased under Project Protector will be designed and purpose built to meet these needs.

The Ministry of Defence will now enter into contract negotiations to finalise options for fleet composition and an Offer Definition Process to clarify technical matters with Tenix prior to final confirmation of the multi-role vessel supplier. At the conclusion of contract negotiations, the Minister of Defence will take a final proposal to Cabinet for approval.

“Our defence personnel are known around the world for their outstanding work and professionalism. They deserve a systematic and ongoing acquisition plan that will keep them well equipped for the extensive variety of tasks they are called upon to undertake,” said Mark Burton.

“Today’s announcement is another significant step towards achieving this government’s goal of a modern, sustainable, well-equipped Defence Force for New Zealand.”

ENDS

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