HMNZS Canterbury

A ship with a troubled history but interesting concept nevertheless.

Read more at Wikipedia 

HMNZS Canterbury
HMNZS Canterbury
Navy, Air, Army, HMNZS Canterbury, MRV, Samoa, Tonga, Tsunami, Deployment: HMNZS Canterbury deploys to Tonga and Samoa after a Tsunami in the Pacific region devistated much of Samoa South Coast and a small Island in Tonga. Aerial view of Niuatoputapu Island, NTT with Canterbury anchored offshore.
Navy, Air, Army, HMNZS Canterbury, MRV, Samoa, Tonga, Tsunami, Deployment: HMNZS Canterbury deploys to Tonga and Samoa after a Tsunami in the Pacific region devistated much of Samoa South Coast and a small Island in Tonga. Aerial view of Niuatoputapu Island, NTT with Canterbury anchored offshore.
Multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury transports people and equipment from 1/27 Infantry Regiment of the US Army and 1 (NZ) Brigade from the NZ Army from Lyttleton Port to Napier for Exercise Alam Halfa. Vehicles unload from the side ramp at Napier port.
Multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury transports people and equipment from 1/27 Infantry Regiment of the US Army and 1 (NZ) Brigade from the NZ Army from Lyttleton Port to Napier for Exercise Alam Halfa. Vehicles unload from the side ramp at Napier port.
Multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury transports people and equipment from 1/27 Infantry Regiment of the US Army and 1 (NZ) Brigade from the NZ Army from Lyttleton Port to Napier for Exercise Alam Halfa. Vehicles unload from the side ramp at Napier port.
Multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury transports people and equipment from 1/27 Infantry Regiment of the US Army and 1 (NZ) Brigade from the NZ Army from Lyttleton Port to Napier for Exercise Alam Halfa. Vehicles unload from the side ramp at Napier port.
Multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury transports people and equipment from 1/27 Infantry Regiment of the US Army and 1 (NZ) Brigade from the NZ Army from Lyttleton Port to Napier for Exercise Alam Halfa. Vehicles unload from the side ramp at Napier port.
Multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury transports people and equipment from 1/27 Infantry Regiment of the US Army and 1 (NZ) Brigade from the NZ Army from Lyttleton Port to Napier for Exercise Alam Halfa. Vehicles unload from the side ramp at Napier port.
HMNZS Canterbury
HMNZS Canterbury
HMNZS CANTERBURY , first of the navy's Protector fleet vessels, made its inaugural New Zealand port of call on the 28 June 2007, where she arrived at noon in Lyttelton, Images taken from a helicopter on her way into Lyttelton.
HMNZS CANTERBURY , first of the navy’s Protector fleet vessels, made its inaugural New Zealand port of call on the 28 June 2007, where she arrived at noon in Lyttelton, Images taken from a helicopter on her way into Lyttelton.

And some Flickr embeds

Current and Recent RAN Ships, by Glenn Crouch, No. 15, HMNZS CANTERBURY joins in.

HMNZS Canterbury

HMNZS Canterbury

HMNZS Canterbury

All aboard

Side ramp

HMNZS Canterbury in Cairns - March 10: Back

Canterbury's medium landing craft

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Dangerous Dave
Dangerous Dave
June 29, 2012 9:57 am

So, BAE Systems (Aus) subcontracted a Dutch yard to build a coastal ro-ro to fulfill an order for a *strategic* sealift ship. How unlike BAE to get an order this wrong (!) :-P

Ed
Ed
June 29, 2012 10:36 am

I can’t help thinking that New Zealand would have been better buying one (or dare I say it two) of the Singaporean Endurance class LPD. They are much nicer looking, a proven design, and fundamentally a proper LPD, not a converted ferry design! They have had a lot of difficulty with the Canterbury, whereas I suspect they would have avoided a lot of these if they had gone for the Endurance class!

The Other Chris
The Other Chris
June 29, 2012 11:28 am

You can sail on the vessel that Canterbury design is based on and visit the TT next year at the same time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Ben-my-Chree

The Steam Packet also operate another vessel with military origins if you prefer your TT experience with a US slant:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSC_Manannan

Incidentally the Mission Deck (aka the Car Deck!) is one of the reasons why Manannan can carry as much freight as she does for her class of ship.

40 degrees south
40 degrees south
June 29, 2012 11:53 am

DD
As I understand it, the ship design was selected by Aussie company Tenix, which was subsequently bought by BAE. I’m not sure how much blame BAE should bear.

Ed

You are right re Endurance class ex Singapore, but the whole ‘Canterbury’ project was driven entirely by cost. There was no way the NZ government was willing to pay for a proper LPD, hence the purchase of a car ferry with grey paint.

http://www.defence.govt.nz/pdfs/independent-review-safety-hmnzs-canterbury.pdf

The 2008 independent review makes interesting if somewhat painful reading – the key para reads

HMNZS CANTERBURY’s acquisition has been constrained, however, by the initial choice of ship design; it has been managed to get the ship into service as soon as possible, and it has been characterised by shortcomings in project management and governance and collective wishful thinking. It is unlikely to meet all of the requirements of the contract.

Observer
Observer
June 29, 2012 12:03 pm

Sorry Ed, as much as I’d like to boost Singaporean business, the Endurance isn’t ice toughened. I’d hesitate to bring it near the poles, and uparmouring is almost the same as a total redesign. No point.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 29, 2012 12:32 pm

@ Ed – big fan of Endurance class but how do the costs compare?

@ TOC – being wondering for a while if we could use some fast ferries and if so how we could go about getting them…

The Other Chris
The Other Chris
June 29, 2012 12:59 pm

@Gareth Jones

Thailand bought a fully equipped Endurance class including landing craft for the equivalent of just under £100M at the time.

The vessel became the fifth in the production run.

Jed
Jed
June 29, 2012 2:27 pm

TD – why do you like her ? SIMMS ??

Procurement was indeed a cluster frak – lets take a civvy car ferry and mod if for use in the southern ocean….. Mmmmmm’

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
June 29, 2012 3:58 pm

@ Ed and TOC – Canterbury cheaper, even with the required upgrades. She is also ice-hardened.

Details on project protector:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Protector

Simon
June 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Makes you wonder why they weren’t in the bidding for Largs Bay… they needed it a little more than the Ausies.

John Hartley
John Hartley
June 29, 2012 8:34 pm

What if you crossed Canterbury with RR fast cargo boat designs? Then stick a 114mm gun on the bow & you have an interesting multi role ship.

Anixtu
Anixtu
June 29, 2012 8:39 pm

TD, which elements of the concept of this abomination do you find interesting?

NZ would have been better off buying the decrepit Sir Galahad than this thing.

Phil
June 29, 2012 8:45 pm

Whats wrong with it? Its a ship, which moves shit from a to b. Seems like a solid concept to me. It is not meant to be an assault vessel, NZ just doesn’t have the capacity to do that.

repulse
June 29, 2012 8:59 pm

Poor implementation maybe – but the concept is sound. Being able to accomodate 4 helos in the hanger is a great capability for a relatively cheap craft.

Anixtu
Anixtu
June 29, 2012 9:02 pm

Phil,

You need to read the background.

Poor seakeeping. Daft location for the RHIBs, one has been washed away already. Daft location for the LCMs. The LCMs have multiple problems and are to be replaced. The lack of a dock and method of interfacing LCMs with stern ramp will severely limit conditions in which vehicles can be offloaded it seems has already caused damage to LCMs.

It’s like a Bay done very badly.

Phil
June 29, 2012 9:13 pm

I know the ship has had problems but the concept seems very valid to me.

Anixtu
Anixtu
June 29, 2012 10:06 pm

What do you view the concept as being? To me it looks like a landing ship (non-assault), i.e. an LSL. Implemented really badly.

Phil
June 29, 2012 10:55 pm

It’s a vessel that can move a considerable portion of the NZ Army from New Zealand to somewhere else. That’s a useful and realistic capability. Implementation aside, the concept is sound. It’s not meant for anything other than permissive environments. Ironically it means that NZ can sea lift a far greater proportion of its army than we can!

Observer
Observer
June 30, 2012 12:02 am

Interesting distinction between concept and execution. It’s not like New Zealand is the only country with landing ships. Interesting how bad execution can make a good concept look terrible.

You said it yourself Anixtu, it’s like a Bays done badly. Was the Bays a bad idea?

And that is a really scary place to put a LC. I suppose it frees the interior for more equipment, but winching something that big up and down on a single point davit gives me nerves. I’ll keep expecting the thing to swing into the hull. I do know that proceedure > random factors, but emotionally?..

40 degrees south
40 degrees south
June 30, 2012 11:18 am

Simon
Canterbury keel was laid 2005, so the money was long gone by the time Largs Bay came on market 2010. Unfortunately.

Observer
I’m unsure how necessary ice toughening is – the NZ Navy survived without it for decades. The sealift ship was mainly needed for humanitarian relief in the tropics and carting the NZ Army off to exercises with friendly neighbors. Neither of these require venturing near to the Ross ice shelf.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 30, 2012 11:55 am

Each side having a crane:
– while recognising Observer’s comment of the LCSs potentially colliding with the hull on the way up/down, must be brilliant for capacity off the deck , to pier, or v.v.
– I did not understand whether the “coastal ferry design” and South Seas have proved not a good mix (other than the RIB washed away), and the ice comment, I think, was spot on as this is not a patrol ship, needing to go anywhere near ice

x
x
June 30, 2012 12:11 pm

The poor sea keeping in the Ben-My-Chree was cured with good dollop of concrete.

Though it shows any ship has a high utility Canterbury was poor value. Ghalad would have been a better buy as mentioned. Bold attempted? Yes I suppose. Doesn’t excuse it being a cock-up.

(If you look at some of the pictures you can see a glazed panel in the deck of the bridge wings. Having stood on/next to the BMC’s when she is underway, looked down for a spell, doesn’t half make you feel sick. Joys of pre-9/11 travel…..)

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
July 1, 2012 2:57 am

I think I need to background this discussion

First, the ‘Project Protector contract’ which built Canterbury was primed by Tenix, BAe only got involved in the last 18 months when they bought out Tenix Defence after Tenix lost the Australian AWD contract.

Second, Project Protector was very cash constrained. Canterbury, 2 OPV’s and 4 coastal patrol boat were shoe-horned into a budget of NZ $500m (US $320m)(?pounds)in 2004. Project Protector was world wide tenders with a lot of bids incl. UK, Dutch and Singapore yards, but Tenix won largely because they stuck to the budget.

Both Canterbury and the OPV’s are ice strengthened while at the same time being airconditioned for tropical use and even the OPV’s have a 40t+ cargo capacity plus deck and hangar for a Seasprite helo.

So, all 3 are a huge set of compromises built to lloyds commercial standards on a tight budget.

BAe had to replace the RHIB’s on all 7 vessels with proven Zodiac’s. There was a dispute over the OPV’s weight and Canterbury in the Tasman Sea/Southern Ocean (lightly loaded) bounced like the short fat cork that it is (some permanent ballast has had to be added).

Still, NZ has 7 vesels in service, they seem to have settled down and if they had tried to go military they would have been lucky to get an LPD and a couple of patrol boats.

Finally, someone will ask why the budget could not be raised? NZ is always a tight budget. Project Protector came along when they decided they couldn’t sustain a 4 frigate navy. It is also the country whose airforce had to give up fast jets a few years ago. They have made a lot of hard decisions on capability as costs rise, as will we all.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 1, 2012 6:13 am

Hi Johnno,

I take my hat off for them: analysed what they need, and bought exactly that (did they award the contract as a complete package, for further discount?).

I think they have taken refurbing to the limit, though: the Hercs, when they come back from Canada, will be the oldest with any air force (I think)

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
July 1, 2012 6:45 am

Hi, ACC. I think it was a package. Tenix was really after the work on the OPV’s and patrol boats to keep them going between the last ANZAC frigate and the AWD. Not sure how they got onto a modified Dutch freight ferry, but they actually used Canterbury on its delivery voyage from Holland to carry modules for the OPV’s from a sub-contract builder in NZ to Melbourne where Canterbury was fitted with armament and military comms and the OPV’s otherwise built and launched. Not a $ wasted. It was cost and some work in NZ that got them the job.

You are right about the NZAF C-130H’s. They were the first C-130H exported, even older than your ‘K’s. Coming problem for NZ is next decade when the 130’s, their Orions, the Navy’s tanker, the diving tender and the two ANZAC frigates all time expire over a period of about 8 years!

Observer
Observer
July 1, 2012 7:16 am

Good point on the tight budget AJ. If they had went for high end, they would not have gotten half of what they have now. The equipment may be problematic, but at least they HAVE the capability, cussing of the engineers not withstanding.

And I so do not envy their government in the next 10 years. The money needed to upgrade their equipment have to come from somewhere, and it’s all in a big chunk like you pointed out.

Instead of buying or purpose building, I suspect we’ll be seeing military conversions of 2nd hand civilian vessels from the Newzealanders. It is the most cost effective solution I can forsee. Guess we just have to wait and see what they do.

Evil Uncle Ed
Evil Uncle Ed
July 2, 2012 6:25 am

As a NZer with a little interest in Defence issues, I agree with those who cite the Endurance class LPD as the better choice.

NZ should have purchased such a ship with a Sea Giraffe Radar and Saab 9LV combat system to support our ANZAC Frigates, and two ice-strengthened Venator/C3-type vessels in the 2500-3500 tonne range both for patrolling our EEZ and to help the RNZN cover some of the miscellaneous roles where it lags (via mission modules).

Unfortunately Project Protector (which included Canterbury and two OPVs) was entirely driven by cost, and was the product of a far left government that didn’t have a clue about defence. The alternatives I have cited above would have cost an additional $250-300 Million NZD’s at the time, and no-one was willing to spend that money.

Hence we ended up with a passenger ferry with no MCG and no CIWS, and two patrol boats that are top heavy and have no utility for other roles.

The idea of a multipurpose ship for NZ was conceived during the 80’s, and was originally a 6000 tonne arctic patrol vessel with the abilty to carry 200 soldiers and 4 LCP’s on davits. By adding the requirement to carry LAVIII’s we ended up with a larger ship that needs to be more or less fully loaded to travel properly.

Thus Canterbury is the wrong hull form for Southern Ocean patrol – she rides too high without a full load of cargo, and her stabilizers/ballast tanks do not correct the roll of the ship properly.

Put simply, an LPD/MRV for NZ belongs in the North Pacific in a dedicated army support role and as a training vessel for our Frigates – not on the Southern Ocean as a 9000 tonne patrol boat loaded up with concrete blocks to try and ballast it.

IMHO, the concept for a multipurpose ship as a cheap Frigate alternative is sound in some circumstances (as many of you have cited on other threads of this site), but you can’t mix roles that require different seakeeping characteristics.

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
July 2, 2012 8:01 am

Evil Uncle Ed, NZ was planning a new white paper, has there been any comment in your media on how your impending train wreck next decade may be handled?

Simon
July 2, 2012 8:33 am

Evil Uncle Ed,

You guys could have had Largs Bay for £100m and bolted on some “add ons” as you saw fit?

Anixtu
Anixtu
July 2, 2012 9:12 am

Largs Bay was not for sale at the time (wasn’t that mentioned already?), but the Bays make an interesting comparison (at least for the LSL role). Depending on when you calculate the exchange rates, Canterbury cost about the same or a little less than was originally budgeted for a Bay (i.e. not allowing for the 100% cost overrun on the project). Might still have some of the seakeeping issues in the Southern Ocean, though Largs survived her time in the Falklands on APT(S), but should not be an issue because, as Ed says, the LSL and patrol tasks should not have been required of the same ship.

I am curious as to whether the (semi-permanent?) ballast on Canterbury has been placed high up or low down. The reported short roll period indicates a ship that is too stiff – was the ballast placed high up to increase roll period as per Argus’ concrete under the flight deck? An unladen Bay can suffer from being a bit stiff, it’s a common problem on empty cargo vessels.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 2, 2012 9:45 am

RE “Canterbury cost about the same or a little less than was originally budgeted for a Bay (i.e. not allowing for the 100% cost overrun on the project).”
– any idea what the “Rotterdam”s cost (with helo and all, which for the only ship in class I would assume NZ would require)? Dutch; but not a passenger ferry

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
July 2, 2012 10:33 am

Anixtu, If I undestand the problem with Canterbury it was related to ships motion when lightly loaded at sea states top end of 4 into 5. It was actually that motion that allowed the RHIP to be torn away.
The NZ goverment had a consultant come in a do an investigation which basically concluded (for a fair sum of money)that ferries aren’t meant to run empty.

I presume that the ballast is on the vehicle deck or higher and replicates a minimum level of cargo. So it is a matter of playing with Metacentric height to slow the roll.

I also believe that the ship has anti roll tanks because of the ice requirements rather than fin stablisers and anti roll tanks are limited in what they can do. Particularly if the motion exceeds the capacity of the tanks. Tanks in that situation can actually make the roll worse.

The Roll they expeienced must have been pretty extreme because as well as tearing the RHIP away it touched off other concerns about the prop blades coming out of the water and triggering breakers on the motors with a possible loss of power.

As far as I can tell there have been no external mods so the internal ballast must have reduced things to manageable proportions as Canterbury has certainly been getting around.

x
x
July 2, 2012 1:34 pm

Better two Thetis class and a bare boat charter on a small RO-RO.

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
July 3, 2012 2:15 am

x, well the NZ Navy did buy a small RO RO before they started Project Protector.
It was sold on after it displayed similar sea keeping problems as Canterbury.
The really amazing thing is considering they had to sell the RO RO as unsuitable, they got into very similar problems on Canterbury. However, it is really the same issue, if you design a ship for a large payload and it sails pretty much empty for much of the time, in rough conditions, ballasting will be a problem.

Nighthawk Nz
Nighthawk Nz
May 16, 2014 9:56 am

HMS Sir Ghalad would not have been able to meet the other requirements Canterbury is a multi roll vessel (MRV)

While yes her core is sea lift, other roles in disaster relief, light patrol duties (Yes she has done the odd patrol duties), medical has a five-bed hospital ward, a two-bed sickbay, an operating theatre, a medical laboratory and a morgue. Her command and control systems and communications systems (which are now being upgraded) make her a command ship and have impressed the various other navies including the yanks during Pacific Partnership. She can carry 4 NH90’s below and launch them for shore duties plus 2 Sea Sprites in the hanger and can operate 2 aircraft at once. Here deck can accommodate up to a Chinook sized helo.

The ship is equipped to embark up to eight containers of ammunition and up to two with hazardous materials, and also has an extensive fire sprinkler system for the containers and up to 33 20 ft TEU containers of standard cargo.

Canterbury is also a training ship for recruits to learn various skill during their training.

The ship also contains a gym, workshops, an armoury and magazine, as well as offices for government officials embarked (such as Department of Conservation or NIWA scientists, customs, police or fishery officers)

She is ice-strengthened hull to allow her to operate in the sub antarctic waters, where New Zealand claims several islands, and where Canterbury is to assist scientific expeditions

Her engines can be flashed in 10 minutes, and can do 19 knots.

There is hoist from below deck to the Flight Deck to bring cargo or vehicles up to the flight deck and can be hoisted via crane to the landing craft.

Her sea keeping issues have been sorted as well as the RHIB location alcoves moved forward and up. (there are various shots showing the new position on the net) The issue with sea keeping was only noticeable when empty and light on fuel. When she is laden as all cargo vessel are designed to be she was fine… as mentioned above a good dollop of concrete.

There has been no issue with the cranes as far as I know, only the actual landing craft front ramp and paddle locking mechanisms. But I believe they have or are to replace the whole landing craft (not sure on this as of yet)

She has proved her worth during the various Pacific Partnership operations she has been on, the Christchurch Earth Quake, the Samoa & Tongan Tsunami, and various other humanitarian operations, she has helped the Aussies move gear while they await for their. She has been a very busy ship in the last few years, and starting to show her worth.

Is she perfect, no, but no new concept ship is, but she has met her criteria of what she was built for. She was never meant to be an assault ship.

As a side note she is off to RIMPAC (2014) this year…