HMNZS CANTERBURY - L421
Displacement: 9000 tonnes
Length overall: 131 metres
Beam: 23.4 metres
Speed: 19 knots
Complement: Core ship's company: 53
Flight personnel: 10
Government agencies: 4
Army ship's staff: 7
Propulsion: Diesel engines
Flight deck: Space for two helicopters
Armament: 25mm and two .50 calibre machine guns
The NH90 Helicopter has been selected as the NZDF’s preferred medium Utility Helicopter to replace RNZAF’S Iroquois. Up to four NH90’s can be carried onboard the MRV for deployment ashore in support of Army operations and disaster relief activities. The MRV is also capable of operating the SH-2G Seasprite and the helicopter deck is able to handle a Chinook-size helicopter.
The Sealift and Amphibious Support Vessel CANTERBURY is the first of seven new ships built for the Royal New Zealand Navy under Project Protector. She is affiliated to the Canterbury Region. She was built at the Merwede Shipyard in the Netherlands, under contract to Tenix. CANTERBURY’s design is based on a commercial RO-RO ship, Ben-My-Chree in operation in the Irish Sea.
CANTERBURY has a diesel-electric propulsion and a maximum speed of just over 19 knots. She provides a sealift capability for the transport and deployment of equipment, vehicles and personnel, and is capable of transferring cargo and personnel ashore in benign conditions (up to sea state 3) when port facilities are not available. CANTERBURY has two 59 tonne Landing Craft Medium (LCM) capable of carrying 50 tonnes at 9 knots with a range of 250 nm.
The result of the winning design of a competition, the original crest design included crossed shepherd’s crooks and a garb (sheaf) of wheat, representing the two main industries of the province, along with four sailing ships to represent the first four ships which brought the early European settlers to Canterbury.
The crossed shepherd’s crooks were changed to bishop’s crosiers (staffs) to represent the status of Christchurch as a Cathedral City, while the four ships were changed to heraldic Lymphad with sails furled, oars in action and flags flying.
The flags all feature the Cross of St George.
One significant departure from the standard RNZN badge where the ship’s name is shown in black letters on a white background, CANTERBURY’s name is shown in black letters
on a red background representing the province’s sporting Colours.
The badge is surmounted by the Admiralty Crown and surrounded by a right hand laid rope with two New Zealand silver fern leaves at the base.
The design for the original badge was approved by the New Zealand Naval Board in January 1970. The current design, which has minor modifications to standardise the lettering was approved by the Chief of Navy on 16 April 2007.