The New Zealand Government has approved the purchase of a dive and hydrographic support vessel for the Royal New Zealand Navy.
The 85-meter (280-foot) Norwegian built multi-role offshore support vessel, the EDDA FONN, will be outfitted with the dive and hydrographic systems required by the Defence Force, before being delivered to Devonport Naval Base in May 2019.
The dive and hydrographic vessel which will be renamed HMNZS MANAWANUI (the fourth RNZN ship to bear that name) will replace HMNZS Resolution and HMNZS Manawanui. The two vessels were decommissioned from the Navy in 2012 and 2018 respectively, following several decades of service. The modern design and systems of the vessel will provide improved capacity, speed, safety, and capability over the previous vessels. Some of these new and enhanced capabilities include a 100 t salvage crane, a remotely operated vehicle and a contemporary dynamic positioning system.
“The MV Edda Fonn will be a great addition to the Navy,” says Defence Minister Ron Mark. “Not only will it meet the Government’s needs, it will be in service three years earlier than a newly built ship would have been.”
In recent years, the Navy’s specialist divers and hydrographers have undertaken underwater search and rescue with the New Zealand Police, surveyed the seabed following the Kaikoura earthquake and removing unexploded historical ordnance in the Pacific islands.
Edda Fonn is owned and operated by Norwegian company Østensjø Rederi, and the vessel was chosen from a list of over 150 candidate offshore and subsea support vessels. The vessel generally operates in the North Sea, and is under lease until the end of 2018, following which the modification process will begin.
Once delivered, final modifications will be undertaken in New Zealand. It is expected that New Zealand industry will be involved in this part of the project. The ship is expected to be in service with the Navy by November 2019. The project budget for the purchase, modifications and introduction into service of the dive and hydrographic capability is $103 million. This has been funded through an existing appropriation.
Below are images of the vessel EDDA FONN off Valletta (Grand Harbour) during a crew change back to 19th February, 2004
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com