The 8,000 tonne Multi Role Vessel which is to be commissioned into Naval service in 2007, commenced two days of sea trials in Holland on 3 July. A total of ten Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel boarded Canterbury at the Merwede shipyard, Holland for 48 hours of sea trials.
The ten representatives embarked included Project Director, Commodore (Rtd) Gary Collier, and Navy personnel involved in the setting of machinery and systems prior to the sea trials, and naval members of the MoD project team.
Over the two day trial period, essential sea-going systems such as main propulsion, bow thrusters, Integrated Platform Management System, radars, navigation and mission systems were progressively set to work, integrated with other systems and trialed.
Commodore Collier said the overall impression of the ship is that she is very comfortable. “Canterbury is spacious inside with good quality fittings. The design of cabins, messes and working spaces will make living and working comfortable, easy and efficient for her crew. She is sure to be as memorable a ship as her predecessor.”
Not all trial objectives were achieved due to the complexity of the setting to work. The ship was required to return to port for a planned dry-docking to conduct a hull underwater inspection.
It is planned to continue Canterbury’s sea trials on 16 July after more setting to work and fine tuning.
Canterbury was launched on 11 February 2006, she remained alongside in the Merwede canal until the commencement of the sea trials.