SK17 Canterbury The Cut Nelson Oct 2017

HMNZS Canterbury + Offshore Patrol Vessels Communications Upgrade

Upgraded communications systems on HMNZS Canterbury and the Offshore Patrol Vessels (Otago and Wellington) will enable better communication and networking with other ships, aircraft, ground forces and coalition partners when deployed.

This upgrade will allow for an increased ability for Canterbury to conduct concurrent operations, lead joint and combined operations and maintain interoperability with key partners. It will provide confidence that the vessel can effectively and efficiently complete her missions. The Offshore Patrol Vessels Communications Upgrade will maintain tasking availability, improve ability to conduct expected tasks and maintain interoperability in to the future.


In October 2020 the Acquisition Review Board assessed the options and reccomended a preferred supplier, MSA as Prime System Integrator for the CAN/OPV Communications Upgrade Project. This was approved by the Secretary of Defence.

Following Defence Chief Executive’s approval to commit funds on 22 February 2021, the Design, Build and Installation (DBI) contract was signed between the Secretary of Defence, on behalf of the Crown, and MSA. MSA are subcontracting New Zealand Companies Beca Technologies and McKay Ltd.

Current Status 

The project is currently in the detailed design phase with engagement with Mission Systems Australia (MSA), a subsidiary of L3Harris Technology, occurring weekly to monitor progress. Detailed design is due to conclude with a Critical Design Review in Q4 2021. A change in ship installation order has been agreed and will see installation on the first OPV begin in April 2022 followed by Canterbury and the second OPV in 2023. 

A Pre-ship conditioning refit assessment has been undertaken on Canterbury to identify the current condition and any fixes required on the ship before the new communications system is installed.

Contact: Jon Finderup, Director Maritime Domain
Updated: August 2021