After two years of contractual delays, the first of four, 171 foot long, 340 ton, Protector class inshore patrol vessels (IPV) entered service with the Royal New Zealand Navy. The ships are designed for patrolling within 40 kilometers of land. These ships have a top speed of 46 kilometers an hour, and cruise (for up to 6,000 kilometers) at 30 kilometers an hour. There are accommodations for 36 on board, including the crew of 20. The only weapons carried are two 12.7mm machine-guns and small arms. The vessels cost $13 million each. There are six crews for the four IPVs, so that each ship can stay at sea about 240 days a year. The remaining three ships of this class will enter service next month.
The ships were all completed last year, but were delayed because the navy was not satisfied with several matters (mainly having to do with the two rigid hull inflatable boats carried, as well as the launch and recovery system.)