Arrowhead 140 to meet Royal New Zealand Navy’s future needs

Line of Defence Magazine - Summer 2023-24

Babcock Arrowhead 140
Flexibility for configuration: the Babcock Arrowhead 140. Image: Babcock.

Babcock’s capable, adaptable and cost-effective Arrowhead 140 is the company’s answer for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s future needs.


Babcock’s Arrowhead platform offers an unrivalled blend of price, capability and flexibility to suit the future needs of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), Babcock Australasia CEO Andrew Cridland says.

In response to the New Zealand Ministry of Defence’s industry engagement request to inform the development of the next Defence Capability Plan, Babcock has confirmed that it has formally presented its proven Arrowhead platform as the future solution for the RNZN.

“We believe Arrowhead would deliver significant multi-mission capability to the Royal New Zealand Navy, meeting its requirements both now and in the future,” said Mr Cridland.

Babcock has offered a solution which allows for a mixture of Arrowhead 140, General Purpose and Modular Naval vessels, delivering a comprehensive range of capabilities for the RNZN.

The Arrowhead 140 General Purpose Ship provides a modern, global combat platform capable of operating for National purposes or within a coalition force.

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The Arrowhead 140 modular mission bays can be re-rolled to provide space for up to two medium sized helicopters and additional off-board systems allowing the RNZN to operate with uncrewed capabilities or support littoral combat operations.

“Babcock’s Arrowhead platform would provide support for a range of RNZN functions including search and rescue, humanitarian, combat and disaster relief capability,” said Mr Cridland.

“It delivers a flexible, long range, interoperable capability that can undertake a range of non-combat and combat missions, ensuring our service personnel have access to proven capability to face our emerging threats.”

Capable of operating with a core crew of only 100 people, Babcock’s Arrowhead platform allows the Royal New Zealand Navy to deploy more capability with a significantly smaller crew.

“Our Arrowhead design will provide a simplified fleet structure with an optimum number of fleet vessels based on common systems and equipment, ultimately reducing training requirements and increase crew familiarity between vessels,” said Mr Cridland.

Babcock recently held a suppliers’ day in New Zealand, attended by more than 65 suppliers aspiring to undertake work to support the delivery of the company’s Arrowhead solution.  

As part of a growing multi navy customer base, the RNZN will benefit from Babcock’s global support for the Arrowhead platform and the wider partner Navy experience with existing Arrowhead customers including the UK, Poland and Indonesia.

Babcock Australasia CEO Andrew Cridland.

“There continues to be strong international interest in this highly adaptable ship,” said Cridland.

At its facilities in Rosyth, Scotland, Babcock is well underway with the design and build programme that will deliver five Type 31, Inspiration Class frigates for the UK Royal Navy, based on the Arrowhead 140 platform.

In 2021, Babcock secured its first export contract for the Arrowhead 140 through a licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia, with the first keel, of the two-ship programme for the Indonesian Navy, laid this year.

Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 frigate has also been selected by the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium as the baseline platform design for Poland’s Miecznik frigates, with steel cut on the first of three frigates for the Polish Navy in August 2023.

“Arrowhead delivers operability, adoptability and reliability providing naval customers with operational choice and absolute confidence in performance,” said Mr Cridland.

Babcock recently held a suppliers’ day in New Zealand, attended by more than 65 suppliers aspiring to undertake work to support the delivery of the company’s Arrowhead solution.  

At the recent Indo Pacific International Maritime Exposition in Sydney, Babcock Australasia announced its first supplier to support the advancement and modernisation of the RNZN fleet – McKay, an electrical engineering solutions company.

“Our local suppliers are critical to supporting the services we proudly provide the Royal New Zealand Navy, and they will be integral to supporting the country’s future naval fleet,” said Mr Cridland.

Babcock has a strong marine defence presence in New Zealand. The company is currently contracted to operate the country’s largest marine engineering and maintenance support facility in Devonport, Auckland.

“Babcock is proud to partner with the Royal New Zealand Navy as their strategic maritime partner,” said Mr Cridland. “Now more than ever, what we do matters: creating a safe and secure world, together.”

Babcock is an advertising partner of Line of Defence Magazine.

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