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HMNZS Te Kaha - ANZAC Frigates

The problem of block obsolescence for the Leander-class ships was alleviated in part by the life extensions to WELLINGTON and CANTERBURY. But in parallel, the Navy sought new surface combatants. In 1987 the Government approved that the RNZN should link in with the Australian new combatant project, which became known as the Anzac Ship Project.

The project awarded the prime contract for eight new Australian ships to Tenix shipbuilders, in Williamstown, Victoria. In September 1989 the New Zealand Government agreed to buy two ships as part of the project and in November 1989 a treaty was signed with Australia for the acquisition of two Anzac-class frigates. In 1989 the Labour Government purchased two frigates for $1.2 billion and sought an option for a further two frigates. So at that stage the Labour Government was looking at a four-frigate navy.

The project provided for significant New Zealand industry involvement, which had previously been denied for Australian defence contracts under the 1982 CER agreement. As a result of the Anzac Frigate Treaty, New Zealand industry gained approximately $800 million worth of work, from a total project cost for New Zealand of $1,200 million (in 1989 dollars). More importantly New Zealand firms gained an important entry to the Australian and international defence markets, with a number of manufacturing contracts flowing out of their Anzac frigate work.

The two ships, named TE KAHA and TE MANA, were delivered and commissioned in 1997 and 1999, replacing SOUTHLAND and WAIKATO respectively. SOUTHLAND was sold for scrap in 1995; WAIKATO was sunk in December 2000 off Northland as a dive wreck, near the former TUI.

The 1997 Defence White Paper set a policy of a three ship combat force, so altogether with CANTERBURY the two new frigates form the combat ships of the RNZN in the 21st Century. WELLINGTON had stopped running during 1999 and was decommissioned the following year. The Anzac Ship Project allowed New Zealand the option of ordering two more ships, if a decision was made by November 1997. However the government of the day allowed that option to lapse, and efforts during 1998-1999 to gain political support for a third Anzac-class frigate, possibly leased from the RAN, were also unsuccessful. In early 2000 the newly-elected Government announced it would not consider a third frigate.

Building on its 30-year legacy as a naval combat systems integrator, Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Canada on 20 May 2014 announced the signing of a contract with the Government of New Zealand for the upgrade of the Royal New Zealand Navys two ANZAC Class frigates at a signing ceremony in Wellington on April 29, 2014. The contract award represents Lockheed Martin Canadas first export sale of its Combat Management System (CMS), which was designed as a modern, affordable solution for the international market.

To have another country select our CMS is tremendously rewarding to our employees and the government of Canada with whom weve worked for more than three decades on similar naval programs, said Rosemary Chapdelaine, president of Lockheed Martin Canada. This key export of Canadian-designed technology not only reinforces Lockheed Martins position as a world leader in naval combat systems integration but further demonstrates our ability to successfully leverage purchases and investments in high-technology defence products to create jobs and economic growth in Canada, one of the key objectives set forth in the recently launched Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) in Canada.

The announcement came following a due diligence in August last year followed by a Contract Definition Stage (CDS) in October, during which the New Zealand Ministry of Defence (NZMoD) re-confirmed its intention to contract with Lockheed Martin Canada for the ANZAC Frigate System Upgrade programs Prime System Integrator (PSI) role. Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin Canada will be responsible for the design, installation and integration of the CMS and Combat System Trainer for the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, as well as the procurement of new sensor and weapon systems for HMNZ Ships Te Mana and Te Kaha.

Valued at more than C$180M over four years, the program will result in significant work scope at Lockheed Martin facilities in Dartmouth, Kanata and Montreal. Should the NZMoD take up the offer to undertake the installation work package that is provided for in the contract, this will result in additional work scope for the SEASPAN shipyard in Victoria, British Columbia. Lockheed Martin will work with several other Canadian companies across the country, as well as with its partner on the Halifax Class Modernization contract, Saab Sweden. In addition, Lockheed Martin is working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to include local industry in the ANZAC Frigate System Upgrade program, as well as current and future Canadian and international programs.

Seaspan was awarded the frigate systems upgrade project as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin Canada, New Zealands prime system integrator, which is responsible for the supply of the combat system upgrade on both ships, as well as a new shore-based trainer. The warships will see their weapons and communications systems upgraded. Work includes radar and targeting systems, a combat management system and a number of other improvements.

The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported the total cost to upgrade the two warships is at $639 million. Work started on the 387-foot Te Kaha at Victoria Shipyards in Esquimalt in the spring of and will continue through this year. The shipyard is owned by North Vancouver-based Seaspan, which also owns Vancouver Shipyards and Vancouver Drydock. The second frigate, the Te Mana, is scheduled to pull into Esquimalt in 2019 for similar work.

The Government has already made a significant investment in the ANZAC frigates, Te Mana and Te Kaha. These upgrades have been undertaken to ensure that the frigates remain world-class maritime combat capabilities for the full duration of their service. The maintenance of a discrete defensive close-in weapons system on the frigates that provides a final layer of protection against in-bound missile and fast inshore attack craft threats; A Platform Systems Upgrade, focused on the replacement of propulsion diesel engines, upgraded cooling systems, and new platform management and integrated bridge systems. The acquisition of the SH-2G(I) Seasprite maritime helicopter, to provide an embarked helicopter for the vessels that can provide rotary wing surveillance, warfare and airlift. The Frigate Systems Upgrade, currently being delivered, which will maintain the surveillance, combat and self-defence capabilities of the frigates. This includes replacement of the combat management systems and a number of sensor and weapon systems.

A further upgrade to the ships communications system will ensure continued interoperability with key Defence partners. These upgrades will be completed in the early 2020s, at which point the ANZAC frigates will provide a greater capability to the New Zealand Defence Force than at any time since their introduction in the 1990s. To realise the full value of these upgrades, the frigates expected service life will be extended past 2030. This decision has been supported by independent analysis of the vessels, which has demonstrated that they are supportable for a greater period of time than previously anticipated.

Standard Displacement: 3,600 tonnes
Length Overall: 118 metres
Beam: 14.8 metres
Draught: 6.2 metres
Speed: 27+ knots
Range: 6,000 nautical miles at 18 knots
Complement: 177 Officers and ratings
Propulsion: Combined Diesel or Gas Turbine (CODOG)
1 GE LM 2500 Gas Turbine (30,000 hp)
2 MTU 12V 1163 Diesel's (8,500 hp)
Twin Shaft Controllable Pitch Propellers
  • 5 inch 54 calibre fully automatic lightweight gun
  • Eight cell Vertical Launch System which houses the NATO Seasparrow Mk 41 air defence missile
  • PHALANX Close In Weapon System
  • Two MK 32 Mod 5 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes
  • Numerous small arms ranging from 50 cal machine guns to 9 mm pistols
  • Aircraft one KAMAN SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopter that can be armed with torpedoes, depth charges and Maverick missiles.

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    Page last modified: 23-12-2019 18:10:40 ZULU