China Navy's confronts New Zealand frigate HMNZS Te Kaha in Spratly Islands

According to information published by Stuff on June 18, 2023, the Anzac class frigate HMNZS Te Kaha was confronted by two Chinese PLA Navy frigates in the disputed Spratly Islands. Two vessels, along with a helicopter and four other vessels, approached the 3500-tonne New Zealand frigate within 463 meters.
Follow Navy Recognition on Google News at this link

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Royal New Zealand Navy's Anzac-class frigate HMNZS Te Kaha. (Picture source: Royal New Zealand Navy)

The Spratly Islands, despite their limited land area, are the focal point of several ongoing political disputes due to their strategic location and potential natural resource reserves. These disputes primarily involve the neighboring countries of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.

China and Taiwan both claim virtually the entire South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, as their own, citing historical evidence that they say proves their claim. Vietnam also declares its sovereignty over the islands, asserting that it has actively ruled over them since the 17th century.

Meanwhile, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei lay claim to certain parts of the archipelago that fall within their respective exclusive economic zones, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

About the frigate

The HMNZS Te Kaha is a powerful Anzac-class frigate in the Royal New Zealand Navy. With a full load displacement of 3,600 tonnes, it stretches 118 meters in length and 15 meters across the beam, while maintaining a draught of 4 meters.

Her propulsion system combines the output of a General Electric LM2500+ gas turbine and two MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines, powering two shafts with controllable pitch propellers in a Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) configuration. This allows the ship to reach speeds over 27 knots and sustain a range of 6,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots.

The Te Kaha is operated by a complement of 178 officers and ratings. She is fitted with state-of-the-art sensors and processing systems including broadband sonar, multi-beam naval search radar, X-band radars for navigation, infrared and laser detection systems.

For defense, the frigate possesses electronic warfare capabilities, a variety of countermeasures, and a strong suite of armaments that include guns, missiles, and torpedoes.

Her primary armament consists of a 5 in/54 Mk 45 Mod 2 gun, a Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), eight M2 .50 Cal Browning machine guns, Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missiles, and the AGM-119 Mk 2 Mod 7 Penguin Missile.

Te Kaha is also equipped with two sets of triple 324mm Mk 32 Mod 5 torpedo tubes. The ship's combat data systems and weapons control are managed by the CMS 330 Link 16 and Navantia Fire Control systems respectively. The ship is also designed to carry one Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopter, further extending its operational capabilities.