Protector-class inshore patrol vessel

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For other uses, see Protector class.
HMNZS Hawea, Protector-class IPV
Class overview
Name: Protector-class inshore patrol vessel
Builders: BAE Systems Australia (then Tenix Shipbuilding), Whangarei
Operators:  Royal New Zealand Navy
Preceded by: Moa-class patrol boat
Succeeded by: N/A
Cost: NZ$35.8 million (per vessel, 2008)
Built: 2005–2008
In service: 2009–present
In commission: 2009–present
Completed: 4
Active: 4
General characteristics
Type: Inshore patrol boat
Displacement: 340 tonnes (loaded)
Length: 55 m (180 ft)
Beam: 9 m (30 ft)
Draught: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: Two MAN B&W 12VP185 engines, each rated at 2,500 kW at 1,907 rpm
ZF 7640 NR gearboxes
Two controllable pitch propellers
Speed: Top speed 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Patrol speed 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Range: 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi)
Boats and landing
craft carried:
2 x RHIB with diesel-powered three-stage jet units
Complement: 36 (includes 4 government agency staff and up to 12 others)[1]
Armament: 3 x 12.7 mm machine guns
Small arms
Notes: [2]

The Protector-class inshore patrol vessel (also known as the Rotoiti class and the Lake class) is a ship class of inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) which replaced the RNZN's Moa-class patrol boats in 2007–2008. All four vessels are named after New Zealand lakes.

Design and construction[edit]

Conceived as part of Project Protector, the Ministry of Defence acquisition project to acquire one multi-role vessel, two offshore and four inshore patrol vessels. The Project Protector vessels will be operated by the RNZN to conduct tasks for and with the New Zealand Customs Service, the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Fisheries, Maritime New Zealand, and New Zealand Police. The future duties will include maritime surveillance and boarding, support to civilian agencies such as the customs service and search and rescue duties.[2]

Engine room of HMNZS Hawea

The ships were built in Whangarei by BAE Systems Australia (formerly Tenix Shipbuilding), and are based on a modified search and rescue vessel for the Philippine Coast Guard, with a different superstructure design. The cost for the four vessels was planned to be NZ$100 million.[2] Friction stir welding was used in the construction of the superstructure, and Donovan Group being the first New Zealand company to use the technique, which is credited as having won them the contract for this part of the vessel's construction.[2][3]

Capabilities and features[edit]

The IPVs will normally be used for inshore tasks within 24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi) of the coastline.[2] However, they will have operational ranges of 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi). Together with their improved speed, this will be sufficient to intercept, for example, large off-shore fishing trawlers working illegally in New Zealand waters.[2] Each vessel is intended to achieve 290 available patrol days per year.[4]

12.7x99mm machine gun on HMNZS Hawea

They will have the ability to patrol (including receiving vertical replenishment) in up to sea state 5 (seas rough, waves 2.5–4m) and have the ability to survive in conditions of up to sea state 8 (seas very high, waves 9–14m). However, boat deployment and recovery will be limited to sea state 4 (seas moderate, waves 1.25–2.5m). These parameters are much more capable than the Moa Class which they replace.[2] The shipbuilder claims "the vessel is more than capable of extending the Crown's operational envelope to southern ocean patrol duties".[citation needed]


These ships' names come from New Zealand lakes: Rotoiti and Taupo in the North Island, Hawea and Pukaki in the South Island. They were also the names of Lake-class patrol boats and frigates previously operated by the RNZN.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]