The Defence Force is getting a new addition to its fleet after the Government announced it will buy a new naval tanker.
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the $493 million ice-strengthened ship will be used for operations in Antarctica and will be equipped for a range of operations.
It will be built by South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries and is expected to be on the water by 2020.
Once in use, it'll replace the 30-year-old HMNZS Endeavour which is currently used to fuel other navy ships, other partner ships and helicopters. It has also supplied fuel and fresh water for land operations.
The new ship will have a similar role, as well as maritime sustainment and humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
"The Defence Force can't operate without fuel, water, ammunition and other bulk goods, and the most effective way to deliver fuel to ships, aircraft and vehicles deployed overseas is by tanker," Mr Brownlee says.
But the new tanker will be larger than the Endeavour, allowing it to refuel two ships at a time, carry and refuel helicopters, produce and store water and store and transport bulk goods.
The ice-strengthening will allow the tanker to head to Antarctica's Scott Base and McMurdo Station during summer, once an ice-breaker has cleared a path.