New Zealand today received the first of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in a ceremony at the Museum of Flight. The milestone comes four years after the New Zealand Government entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy for the P-8A. Boeing Defence Australia will provide sustainment services for New Zealand’s fleet with the support of the P-8 International Program. New Zealand’s three remaining P-8 aircraft are all in advanced stages of production and will be delivered in 2023. The aircraft will replace New Zealand’s current fleet of six P-3K2 Orions and will be based at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea.
“As a maritime nation, delivery of the P-8A will ensure New Zealand maintains a patrol and response capability that will protect and support law enforcement in our Exclusive Economic Zone and Southern Ocean. The P-8A will also assist our South Pacific neighbors and deliver long-range search and rescue capability,” said Sarah Minson, acting Deputy Secretary Capability Delivery, New Zealand Ministry of Defence.
“The unmatched, multi-mission maritime patrol capabilities of the P-8 will provide New Zealand the ability to extend their reach into the Pacific and beyond. New Zealand joins eight other global customers including nearby Australia that have selected or already operate the P-8 and benefit greatly from its long-range maritime surveillance and warfare capabilities,” said Philip June, vice president and program manager, P-8 Programs.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is an American maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft developed and produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, and derived from the civilian Boeing 737-800. It was developed for the United States Navy (USN). The P-8 operates in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in conjunction with other assets, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is operated by the United States Navy, the Indian Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. It has also been ordered by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Republic of Korea Navy, and the German Navy. To date, the global operating P-8 fleet has amassed more than 450,000 mishap-free flight hours. The P-8 is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8 performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.