SingaporeIn response to the New Zealand Ministry of Defence’s industry engagement request to replace the current naval fleet, Babcock Australasia held a suppliers’ day for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand aspiring to undertake work to support the delivery of company’s Arrowhead solution.

Babcock Australasia confirmed that it will formally present its proven Arrowhead platform as the future solution for the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Attended by more than 65 suppliers, the event was aimed at increasing awareness of Babcock’s design, build and support offering, and engaging local SMEs so they could better understand how they can play a part in delivering this adaptable solution to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).

Babcock has a strong marine defence presence in New Zealand. The company is currently contracted to operate the country’s largest marine engineering and maintenance support facility in Devonport, Auckland.

Babcock Australasia, Managing Director Marine, Simon Spratt said: “Our local suppliers are critical to supporting the services we proudly provide the Royal New Zealand Navy, and they will be integral to supporting the country’s future naval fleet. Babcock’s Arrowhead offering is a capable, adaptable and cost-effective modern ship that is operationally proficient in both blue water and littoral areas and would deliver significant multi-mission capability to the Royal New Zealand Navy, meeting its requirements both now and in the future. Now more than ever, what we do matters: creating a safe and secure world, together.”

Babcock’s Arrowhead would provide support for a range of RNZN functions including combat, search and rescue, humanitarian and disaster relief capability. At Rosyth, Scotland, Babcock is well underway with the design and build programme that will deliver five Type 31 Frigates for the UK Royal Navy, based on our Arrowhead 140 (AH140) platform.

In 2021, Babcock secured its first export contract for the AH140 through a licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia, with the first keel, of the two-ship programme for the Indonesian Navy, laid this year. Babcock’s AH140 frigate has also been selected by the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium as the baseline platform design for Poland’s Miecznik frigates with steel cut on the first of three frigates for the Polish Navy in August 2023.


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  1. The Arrowhead 140 is definitely the most logical choice for the RNZN, and to be frank probably the only viable to chance for the Navy to continue to having combat vessels in it’s fleet due to it be considerable cheaper than most other options in the market. (outside Japanese or Korea options)
    Time is working against them however as the manufactoring line won’t be open for much longer. With the country in so much debt and the new government determined to keep a lid on government spending it wouldn’t surprise if the government decides to give up on having Frigates in the future as short sighted as that decision would be.

    • My impression was that the new Liberal NZ government intended to increase the defence budget to the “standard” 2% of GDP as matter of policy. Obviously the economic situation may prevent that but I very much doubt they would divest of the only serious defensive capability they have. Given that Babcock only began construction on the second Type 31 frigate I’d say NZ probably has a couple of years to make a decision on this if they want to reap the benefits of a hot production line. Sometime next year NZ will release it’s updated capability acquisition plan so we will know their intentions then.

  2. New Zealand Navy is between a rock and a hard place at the moment. They realise that they need to replace a lot of things and they don’t have a lot of Budget to do it, I think they have the balance of Ship mixture, possibly the OPV’s could be replaced with something with a bit more bite, Austral’s Patrol 60 or even Luerssen’s OPV 80 (the proper one,not the one we bought). I agree with the consensus, that the Arrowhead 140 should replace the Anzacs ( actually I think Australia should replace their Anzacs with them as well ). The problem will all boil down to which direction NZ intends to take a purely Defensive Force or one that can project force out into the Region.


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