New Zealand Requests Sale of Four P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and associated support to New Zealand for an estimated cost of $1.46 billion.
The possible Foreign Military Sale was announced in an April 28 release from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The sale would include the Boeing-built aircraft plus their sensor and mission systems, support equipment, maintenance trainers and classrooms, software, publications, engineering and logistics support, repairs services, and other support services.
The sale would enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force to sustain a maritime patrol capability when it retires is P-3K Orion aircraft. New Zealand has operated Orions for more than 40 years. As an island nation, New Zealand has a large sea frontier to patrol for military and economic purposes.
Boeing has delivered 53 P-8As to the U.S. Navy as well as two to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The total under contract to date is 95, including 12 for the RAAF and two for the U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF and the Royal Norwegian Air Force are procuring nine and five, respectively. The Indian Navy has received eight P-8I Neptune versions through commercial sales and has ordered four more.
The $2.2 billion awarded to Boeing on March 30 for 17 P-8As also includes options for 32 additional aircraft as well as funds for long-lead parts for future orders. If all options are exercised, the total P-8A contract value will be $6.8 billion, Boeing officials said in a statement made before the possible sale to New Zealand.