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New Zealand Builds A Special Ship
by James Dunnigan
April 24, 2008

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New Zealand has dispatched its new MRV (multi-role vessel) HMNZS Canterbury [PHOTO], overseas for the first time, to a training exercise in the French Pacific islands of New Caledonia. The Canterbury is a 9,000 ton vessel that can operate large (CH-47 class) helicopters and carry up to 250 troops. Four UH-60 class helicopters can be carried and maintained. There is also a small hospital, which can be expanded into the hanger deck. The vehicle deck can carry a hundred or more vehicles and cargo containers. The ship has a crew of 110, and was built to commercial standards. The model for the ship was a roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ferry. This meant the ship only cost about $100 million. The ship carries two landing craft, but does not have a well deck for launching them. The 55 ton LCM class landing craft are lowered into the water. There are also 2-4 smaller, and faster, craft for landing commandos. Armament consists of one remotely controlled 25mm autocannon. Canterbury is basically a peacekeeping ship.

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