Congress Notified on $1.46B P-8A Poseidon Deal with New Zealand

May 2, 2017 1:55 PM
A P-8A Poseidon assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 flies over the Chesapeake Bay. US Navy Photo

The State Department has given its approval to a potential $1.46 billion sale of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to New Zealand, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement.

The deal, pending Congressional approval, would provide four of the aircraft developed for the U.S. Navy and derived from Boeing’s 737 commercial airliner and a variety of sensors.

“The Government of New Zealand 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,” read last week’s notification.
“The sale will strengthen collective defense and enhance New Zealand’s regional and global allied contributions. New Zealand has procured and operated U.S. produced P-3 MSA for over 40 years, providing critical capabilities to NATO and coalition maritime operations.”
The sale would include Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) MX-20HD, AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System, AN/APY-10 Radar, ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures for the aircraft as well as support, maintenance and training equipment.
A New Zealand Defence Forces spokesman told the news site, that Wellington was considering options to replace its six aircraft Lockheed Martin P-3K fleet and that the notification was not a binding contract.

“Besides the P-8A Poseidon, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is also known to be considering the Kawasaki P-1 and Saab Swordfish platforms,” according to a report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

A formal request r the replacement is set to be issued next year for an early 2020s delivery.

In addition to the U.S., India and Australia operate variants of the P-8s. The U.K. and Norway have completed contracts to purchase the aircraft.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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