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New Zealand has requested the potential sale of up to four P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

The country intends to use these defense articles and services to continue its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) capability, following retirement of its P-3K maritime patrol aircraft.

New Zealand has procured and operated US produced P-3 MSA for over 40 years, providing critical capabilities to NATO and coalition maritime operations.

According to the P-8 Poseidon sale notice, the deal includes commercial engines, Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS), Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) MX-20HD, AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System, AN/APY-10 Radar, ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures.

Also included are eight Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS); five Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA) for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; five System Processors for AN/AAQ-24(V)N; thirty AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; ten LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs); support equipment; operation support systems; maintenance trainer/classrooms; publications; software, engineering, and logistics technical assistance; foreign Liaison officer support, contractor engineering technical services; repair and return; transportation; aircraft ferry; and other associated training, support equipment and services.

The proposed sale of the P-8 Poseidon will allow New Zealand to recapitalise, modernise and sustain its MSA capability for the next 30 years. As a long-time P-3 operator, New Zealand will have no difficulty transitioning its MSA force to the P-8A and absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.

The estimated cost is $1.46 billion.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Good news. Poseidon seems to becoming the standard western alliance MPA with Australia, New Zealand, Norway, UK, USA confirmed customers.
    should make sourcing spare parts and interchangeable crew easier, between allies.

    • Mr Bell – Good point well made. Apparently an entirely RAF crewed US Navy P-8 won the Anti-Submarine Warfare Fleet Challenge exercise back in 2014 and RAF crews have proved very capable in US Navy aircraft.

    • New Zealand is not a confirmed customer, not by a long shot. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency request is part of the procurement process. The actual decision on which aircraft to buy, won’t be made for at least another 2 to 3 years.

  2. Wikipedia lists NZ as currently operating 6 x P-3 so “up to 4” P-8 is a reduction in numbers unless they plan to run at least some P-3 on for a while longer in parallel with P-8. When we in the UK get upset about dwindling numbers it is sometimes worth remembering that, with the exception of the US and the more newly developing nations (China, India, etc), we are far from alone in facing serious budget pressures for defence spending.

    Good news though. If we wanted to integrate any non-US weapons then the more non-US operators the bigger chance that some of them might also be interested.

    Being islands surrounded by vast expanses of ocean both Aus and NZ are really going to make good use of these planes, they will be so important to their defence. Aus & NZ are going to be very valuable partners in us all learning how to operate these planes effectively.

    • The excuse that is often trotted out is that the new equipment is much more capable than what is being replaced. For once that claim may hold up, as NZ is responsible for covering a large expanse of water and the superior range, speed and endurance will reduce the time in transit and allow greater efficiency.

    • That’s highly unlikely Geoff, especially given that the cost reestablishing an air force strike wing would be significant. There is plenty of existing kit that needs replacing.

  3. Interesting that NZ gave a lot of thought to drones particularly the MQ-4C Triton but these are not included in this round of purchases.
    Always amazed at the stories from the RNZAF, like ‘yacht found 2,700 km offshore’.

    • I grateful that the tories are at least partially plugging one of the huge gaps they left in our forces.

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