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New Zealand to buy four P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft

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NEW DELHI (BNS): New Zealand plans to purchase four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to replace the aging six P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft that have been in operation since the 1960s.

The current Orion fleet will reach the end of their expected operational life in 2025.

The new P-8As, training systems, infrastructure and introduction into service costs will total $2.346 billion. They will be delivered and begin operations from 2023, Defence Minister Hon Ron Mark said in a statement.

“The purchase ensures the Defence Force can continue to deliver the country’s maritime surveillance, resource protection, humanitarian and disaster response around New Zealand and across the South Pacific.”

“…The purchase enables New Zealand to continue to deploy in a wide range of airborne maritime situations independently, and when required, work effectively with partners including Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which all operate, or will operate, the aircraft,” he said.

The role of maritime patrol aircraft includes supporting maritime surveillance, humanitarian aid, disaster response and Search and rescue.

No. 5 Squadron, which currently operates the Orions, will shift from Whenuapai to Ohakea air force base to operate the P-8As.


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