Royal New Zealand Navy launches global tender to modernize its fleet

Through its particular position, New Zealand and its navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy or RNZN, play a decisive role in controlling the South Pacific and global Antarctic routes.

This country of almost 270 km², has a population of only 000 million inhabitants, and a GDP of $5 billion. In addition, like many Western countries, the New Zealand armies saw their budget melt like snow in the sun from 250, going from 1990% of GDP to 2,2% in 1,1.

However, if in Europe, Australia or Japan, investments resumed during the second half of the previous decade, this rebound in defense spending was particularly contained in New Zealand, reaching just 1,18% in 2022.

A first strategic review for the New Zealand armies

As such, on the occasion of the presentation of the first New Zealand strategic review in history last August, the head of the country's armed forces, Air Marshal Kevin Short, recognized that there was no question, for the moment, that the army budget increases towards the 2% threshold universally used in the West.

In fact, with a budget of $4 billion, the New Zealand armies and their 9 active personnel, for 000 reservists, are small to say the least, and poorly equipped. Thus, the Army and its 3 soldiers only have, in terms of armored vehicles, 500 NZLAV 4×500 derived from the LAV73, as well as around twenty Bushmasters.

The New Zealand Air Force, for its part, lost its fighter squadrons in the early 2000s, after the government canceled the order for 28 F-16A/Bs to replace the A-4 Skyhawks and MB-339s still in service. service.

Today, they only have 4 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and 5 C-130 transport, as well as a helicopter fleet of 8 transport NH90s (+1 spare), 9 SH-2G Super Seapsrite to arm the frigates, as well as six AW109 light helicopters.

Royal New Zealand Navy privileged in government arbitrations

With its two 3.600-ton Anzac-class anti-submarine frigates, its two 1.900-ton Protector class OPVs, and its two 360-ton Lake class light OPVs, the Royal New Zealand Navy is rather well off within the country's armies.

Especially since these ships benefit from the support of a strong support fleet of a powerful support fleet, with the new supply tanker and flagship of the 25.000 ton fleet, the HMNZS Aotearoa, entering service in 2020. The 5.700 tonne survey vessel HMNZS Maharani was purchased second-hand in 2018, while the 9.000 tonne multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury entered service in 2007.


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