Boeing launched the first P-8A Poseidon aircraft for New Zealand in its Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) livery on July 21, 2022. New Zealand is one of eight countries to have acquired the P-8 as new multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft.
“The aircraft features the iconic Kiwi roundel, a bird native to New Zealand,” Sheena Vince Cruz, Boeing P-8 program manager for the Asia-Pacific region, said in a statement. company press release. “Although it does not fly, the Kiwi bird is recognizable and will continue to ‘fly’ as a symbol on the P-8A for decades.”
The New Zealand government has purchased four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft that will eventually replace the current fleet of six aging P-3K2 Orion aircraft.
The first flight is scheduled for the next few weeks, followed by the installation of the mission systems. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to the New Zealand Ministry of Defense later this year.
In July 2018, the government approved the acquisition of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to replace the six aging P-3K2 Orion aircraft. Of the options available, the P-8A Poseidon was assessed as the lowest cost and lowest risk option for New Zealand.
The P-8As will provide advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in nearby waters on and below the ocean surface.
It will allow:
- Participation in international working groups
- Environmental monitoring
- Search and rescue
- Humanitarian aid and disaster relief
- Protection of the Southern Ocean.
The aircraft will be operated by the New Zealand Defense Force and provide services to other government departments including the Department of Primary Industries, New Zealand Customs Service, Department of Civil Defense and Emergency Management , the Rescue Operations Coordination Center and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Business and Commerce.
RNZAF crews continue to be trained on the new aircraft in the United States, ensuring that New Zealand will have enough qualified personnel to operate the P-8As when they arrive.
The RNZAF has a fully trained P-8A crew operating as instructors with the US Navy, gaining operational experience with the new capability. Two RNZAF crews began training with the United States Navy at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, United States.
P-8A maintenance instructors, acceptance and delivery teams continue to work with the Royal Australian Air Force at RAAF Base Edinburgh, Adelaide, Australia.
Photo credit: Boeing