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Networked Simrad System Completes NZ Customs Vessel

A multi-station NSS evo3 display system gives the crew of New Zealand Customs vessel Hawk V easy access to a wide range of advanced functionality

The New Zealand Customs Service has a clear maritime role in protecting the borders of an island country with over fifteen thousand kilometres of coastline. This role calls for specialised vessels, the first of which was launched back in 1881. Flash forward 137 years, and we see the latest of these specialised customs vessels—the primarily Auckland-based Hawk V—launched on International Customs Day in 2018.

The Vessel

Hawk V is an 18.85 metre (61 foot) foil-assisted high-speed catamaran. Locally designed and built, the vessel is constructed of marine-grade aluminium alloy and powered by twin diesel engines coupled to waterjet propulsion systems.

“Hawk V has been purpose-built to boost New Zealand Customs’ ability to identify risk, detect non-compliance in the marine environment, and carry out enforcement activities. … She is designed to accommodate a seagoing crew for extended covert and overt patrols – protecting our territorial waters and waters out to 24 nautical miles.” — Keith Ingram, Professional Skipper magazine

The vessel features three conning stations: one on the main bridge, and two on the fly-bridge. A networked Simrad electronics system gives crew access to a wide range of navigation, surveillance, and communications functionality from multiple stations.


Central to Hawk V’s electronics are four 16-inch NSS evo3 displays. These marine computing powerhouses provide simple touchscreen access to high-performance technologies such as Broadband 4G™ radar, Halo™ Pulse Compression radar, and StructureScan® 3D sonar imaging.

Two 12-inch NSS evo3 displays feature at Hawk V’s dedicated navigation workstation, while a 9-inch NSS evo3 display provides access to all on-board functionality—from charting to radar and AIS—from a station in the saloon.

A modular RS90 VHF radio system, including two independent radios and three extra handsets, enables ship-to-ship communications from multiple stations. Hawk V also features Simrad autopilot, AIS, and instrument repeaters.

“…it’s a very thorough, yet practical electronics system for use by a number of crew. Feedback from the crew was positive, with comments on how intuitive the system is to use; the brightness and clarity of displays; a dead straight autopilot; excellent radar performance; and the connectivity and networking of the whole system which means different operators can be looking at differing radar or plots without upsetting the skipper’s screens.” — Keith Ingram, Professional Skipper magazine

The use of networked displays and modules—such as radar and sonar—enable any networked hardware to be accessed through display. For example, an operator can view and control the Broadband 4G™ radar system at their station, while another operator controls the Halo™ radar system independently from another station. Similarly, any operator can view and control StructureScan® 3D imaging functionality from their station without moving to a dedicated sonar display.

The ultimate flexibility of a networked system allows crew to adapt to changing operational requirements on the water, essential aboard a customs vessel required to fill a variety of roles and face potentially unforeseen challenges in its day-to-day operations.A multi-station NSS evo3 display system gives the crew of New Zealand Customs vessel Hawk V easy access to a wide range of advanced functionality