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Kiwi navy names biggest warship Aotearoa

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/04/2017

New Zealand is building its biggest ever warship and is not being humble about it, naming the vessel after itself.

The Royal New Zealand Navy has christened the 24,000 tonne ship the HMNZS Aotearoa, with construction set to begin on it next year and delivery expected by 2020.

Acting as a transport and supply vessel, it is the largest ship ever operated by the Kiwi navy and deserves an important name, Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin says.

"HMNZS Aotearoa will represent us as a nation on the international stage, whether conducting operational support, maritime sustainment or providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief," he said.

He said the ship can travel anywhere in the world to support Kiwi and international operations, can launch helicopters from its deck and carry large amounts of supplies.

It will also support Antarctic operations.

The Aotearoa has twice the displacement of the Endeavour, the ship it has been commissioned to replace, and will operate out of the same home port in New Plymouth.

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy will be its sponsor, while the ship's name is a deliberate nod to the famous battle cruiser HMS New Zealand, which took part in three maritime battles in the First World War.

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