Frigate Sustainment - Communications

New communications systems for HMNZS Te Kaha and Te Mana will ensure ongoing interoperability of communication technology within the NZDF and with global partners.

The Frigate Sustainment - Communications Project is part of the programme of work that will ensure the ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy Combat Force are operable until the end of their extended service lives.

The project will ensure ongoing interoperability of communication technology with partners and support other new capabilities that are being acquired for the NZDF, such as the P-8A Poseidon and those being delivered under the Network Enabled Army programme.


A contract was signed with British company Systems Engineering and Assessment Limited as the Prime Systems Integrator on 18 August 2021. 

Current Status 

In August 2021 Cabinet approved funding for the Project’s design phase and the purchase of long lead items. The Critical Design Review was completed at the end of 2022 and the long lead items were received in early 2023.

In 2023 a fixed price contract was signed with the prime contractor, UK-based System Engineering and Assessment Ltd (SEA).

SEA is working with New Zealand-based companies, Beca, Marops, and McKay, to install and deliver the communications upgrade:

  • Beca will test and validate the upgraded capability;

  • Marops will develop and supply computer-based training packages for the maintainers and operators;

  • McKay will undertake the installation.

Contact: Jon Finderup, Director Maritime Domain
Email: industry@defence.govt.nz
Updated: October 2023