The Royal New Zealand Air Force has ordered 4 P-8s. The first airplane will deliver later this year.
Boeing press release
“The aircraft features the iconic Kiwi roundel, a native bird to New Zealand. Although flightless, the Kiwi bird is recognizable and will continue ‘flying’ as a symbol on the P-8A for decades to come.”
Sheena Vince Cruz, Boeing P-8 Asia-Pacific region program manager
The New Zealand Government 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 P-8As will provide advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below the surface of the ocean.
First flight is scheduled in the coming weeks followed by mission systems installation. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to the New Zealand Ministry of Defence later this year.
Naval News comments:
The P-8A is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8A combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.
The P-8A is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons – two weapons stations on each wing – and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system. With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants, the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I, patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.
Germany is the latest nation to have acquired the P-8, joining the United States, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Norway, Korea and New Zealand. The U.S. Navy is on contract to receive 111 with the potential for additional quantities based on the fleet’s needs. As a cooperative partner with the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office, Australia began receiving their P-8A aircraft in 2016; both New Zealand and South Korea have signed agreements with the U.S. Navy to purchase four and six aircraft respectively.