Boeing debuts 1st P-8A Poseidon aircraft for New Zealand

Aerospace company Boeing has debuted the first P-8A Poseidon aircraft for New Zealand in its Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) livery.

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.

“The aircraft features the iconic Kiwi roundel, a native bird to New Zealand,” said Sheena Vince Cruz, Boeing P-8 Asia-Pacific region program manager.

”Although flightless, the Kiwi bird is recognizable and will continue ‘flying’ as a symbol on the P-8A for decades to come.”

The 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.

New Zealand is one of eight nations to have acquired the P-8 as their new multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft. 

Recently, the company delivered 150th P-8 maritime patrol aircraft. The MPA will be operated by US Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) One based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

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Boeing emphasized that the global P-8 fleet includes 112 aircraft delivered to the US Navy, 12 to Australia, 12 to India, nine to the UK and five to Norway.