New RNZAF maritime patrol aircraft lands in Aotearoa

December 12, 2022

The first of four new Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft arrived at Base Ohakea today, the Royal New Zealand Air Force has announced.

The Government purchased the aircraft in July 2018 to replace six P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, which have been in use since the 1960s.

The remaining three are expected to arrive from the United States in the coming months and will be in use from early 2023.

READ MORE: RNZAF gets sneak peek at US Poseidon aircraft ahead of receiving its own $2.3 billion fleet

The P8-A Poseidon's first time in NZ airspace, 10,000 metres above Auckland.

US Navy commander Carl White says the P-8A "brings the absolute best avionics, communications, weapon systems and sensors … it is simply the best of the best when it comes to maritime patrol".

The first RNZAF crew that will fly the aircraft will leave for the US Navy base in Jacksonville, Florida in January for a two-year training programme.


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