Beca Applied Technologies Ltd, with the support of specialist naval architecture company Vard Marine Inc, have been appointed by the New Zealand Ministry of Defense as the Technical Support Partner to the Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel (SOPV) project. Beca and Vard Marine will join the Ministry’s Integrated Project Team providing systems engineering, concept design and technical logistics input for the early stages of the project as the capability is defined and specified.
The SOPV project is exploring options for an ice-strengthened offshore patrol vessel for Southern Ocean operations will be navigating the large distance between New Zealand and Antarctica, it will be traversing one of the roughest seas in the world, and must be able to operate safely in Ross Sea ice conditions.
Beca has been a long-standing supplier to the Ministry of Defense and New Zealand Defense Force, with a track record of support to capability development projects and programs including more recently the Maritime Sustainment Capability and the Dive Hydro Vessel project that contributed to the delivery of HMNZS Aotearoa and HMNZS Manawanui.
New Zealand’s Otago Class patrol vessels, HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Wellington, were designed by Vard Marine and delivered in 2010. These vessels have operated in heavy sea states and ice in the Southern Ocean, and the SOPV is intended to provide improved operability in similar conditions. Vard Marine’s recent experience with the Antarctic Support Vessel for the Chilean Navy and the Southern Ocean research vessel for the South African Navy, along with similar projects for the United States Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, all translates directly to this program.