New Zealand Navy’s new diving support vessel starts journey from Norway

Photo: Royal New Zealand Navy

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new diving and hydrographic support vessel has started her journey from Norway to Auckland, New Zealand.

Formerly known as offshore support vessel MV Edda Fonn, the vessel was sold by Norway’s Østensjø Rederi to the New Zealand Navy in August 2018.

The vessel was modified for navy needs and was repainted from a bright yellow to navy grey. Edda Fonn completed sea trials earlier this month before sailing to her new home.

Once in New Zealand, the vessel will be commissioned as HMNZS Manawanui and will undergo final modifications before entering service by November 2019.

The New Zealand Navy was initially scheduled to receive a custom, new-build vessel but an NZ$148 million cost blowout in the country’s frigate upgrade project forced the government to consider a used vessel.

Defense officials identified Edda Fonn as the most suitable option from an initial list of over 150 candidate offshore and subsea support vessels.

The vessel will be homeported in Gosborne and will replace the decommissioned dive tender HMNZS Manawanui and hydrographic survey ship HMNZS Resolution.

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