Built : UK Type: Ton Class Minesweeper Pennant No. M1131 Displacement: 360 tons, 425 tons full load. Length overall 153ft, beam 28ft 9in, draught 8ft 3in. Machinery: Two 2500 bhp Mirrlees engines, two shafts. Performance: 15 kts Armament: 1 x 40mm, 2 x 20mm AA, Bren light machine guns Complement: 27 - 32
In 1965 NZ offered to man two vessels as military assistance in the protection of Malaysia from Indonesian terrorist attacks during an undeclared war known as Confrontation. HMNZS Hickleton was commissioned at Singapore as on 10 April 1965 with sister ship HMNZS Santon . She was used on anti-infiltration patrols between Malaysia and Singapore and Indonesia with the 11th Minesweeping Squadron, RN based on HMS Mull of Kintyre at Singapore. Most actions took place at night with many daylight interceptions of smugglers and suspect craft that may have carried terrorist bombs. All actions took place at close range within 100 yards with no warning. For their gunboat role the ships were fitted with an additional machineguns, Bren guns, rocket flare launchers and smaller personal weapons. In their first year the two NZ ships carried out over 200 patrols and dealt with twenty incidents involving intruding Indonesians, often capturing prisoners. HICKLETON was also involved in two minesweeping exercises in 1966. On 28 June 1966 she intercepted an Indonesian sampan carrying several armed soldiers who opened fire on Hickleton. A few minutes later the action was over with three Indonesians dead and two seriously wounded. The C.O., Lt Cdr. Peter Wright RNZN, was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross and Able Seaman Charles Taylor, who manned a machine gun was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Following peace being declared at the end of 1966 the two ships were steamed back to the UK and reverted to the Royal Navy. Hickelton had by now steamed over 60,000 miles in her NZ colours. She was then modernised and sold to Argentina in 1967 as the Neuquen and she served until scrapped in 1997.