NZDF to test out new missile

  • 30/06/2016
HMNZS Te Kaha approaching berth at Pearl Harbour (NZ Defence Force)
HMNZS Te Kaha approaching berth at Pearl Harbour (NZ Defence Force)

The New Zealand Defence Force has arrived at Pearl Harbour to take part in an international maritime exercise where it'll test out a new weapon for the first time.

Royal New Zealand Navy frigate Te Kaha and almost 400 defence personnel will join 26 other nations and around 25,000 other defence staff for the biennial Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

The vessel is one of 45 ships and five submarines involved.

As part of the event, the Te Kaha will test launch a Penguin anti-ship missile from the Defence Force's new Seasprite helicopter.

NZDF to test out new missile

HMNZS Te Kaha (NZ Defence Force)

"This will be a first for the RNZN and will demonstrate that we are a capable military partner," Te Kaha commanding officer Commander Steve Lenik says.

Cdr Lenik says RIMPAC is a good chance for the Defence Force to train across a wide range of activities which it could be asked to do in future coalition operations.

The vessel left Devonport on May 3 to take part in exercises with the HMNZS Endeavour and the Royal Australian Navy to prepare for RIMPAC.

It then left Australian waters with HMAS Canberra earlier this month for Hawaii.

NZDF to test out new missile

Te Kaha arrives at Pearl Harbour (NZ Defence Force)

RIMPAC started in 1971 and involved the Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, UK and US navies.

New Zealand was a frequent attendee until the ANZUS dispute in the 1980s over the country's nuclear-free stance.

The NZDF took part in an observer role in 2010, but were full participants in 2012 and 2014.