The arrival of the primary new Boeing P-8A Poseidon multi-mission long-range maritime patrol plane (MPA) in New Zealand will see Royal New Zealand Air Drive’s (RNZAF’s) No 5 Squadron transfer to its new base at RNZAF Base Ohakea. The P-8A Poseidon fleet will substitute the P-3K2 Orion fleet, which first entered service within the Sixties. The remaining three Poseidons will arrive by mid-2023. The Poseidon fleet will help New Zealand’s peace and safety operations, maritime surveillance, useful resource safety, humanitarian and catastrophe response in New Zealand, the Pacific and additional overseas.

The Chief of Air Drive, Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark, stated,”In the present day is a significant milestone in constructing a contemporary and succesful Defence Drive for New Zealand. It’s the subsequent step within the ongoing modernisation of our capabilities and the enhancement of the various roles of the aviators who comprise at the moment’s Air Drive. Whether or not it’s saving lives at sea, securing our huge maritime sources, stopping transnational crime, constructing regional resilience or defending our area towards navy threats, the P-8A Poseidon – just like the P-3K2 Orion earlier than it – has the breadth of versatility and the depth of functionality to take the job on.”


Royal New Zealand Air Drive Lockheed P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol plane (MPA). (Photograph by NZDF)

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is an American maritime patrol and reconnaissance plane developed and produced by Boeing Protection, House & Safety, and derived from the civilian Boeing 737-800. It was developed for the US Navy (USN). The P-8 operates within the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles. It’s armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and different weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and might function along with different property, together with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial car (UAV).

Boeing publicly recognized the Royal New Zealand Air Drive as a possible buyer in 2008, as a substitute for its P-3 Orions, due for substitute in 2025. In April 2017, the U.S. State Division accredited the attainable overseas navy sale of as much as 4 P-8As with gear and help, valued at US$1.46 billion. In July 2018, the New Zealand authorities introduced the acquisition of 4 P-8As, to start operations in 2023. 4 P-8As had been ordered in March 2019. The RNZAF is planning to function the kind for a minimum of 30 years. In September 2020, the inaugural Royal New Zealand Air Drive crew for the P-8A graduated coaching at Jacksonville, Florida. This crew will then qualify as instructors to coach the primary RNZAF crews again in New Zealand. The primary P-8A was delivered in December 2022.

Royal New Zealand Air Force’s First P-8A Drives Maritime Patrol Fleet Transition
Royal New Zealand Air Drive Boeing P-8A multi-mission long-range maritime patrol plane (MPA). (Photograph by NZDF)