In July 2018, the New Zealand government announced the purchase of 4 Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. It was stated that the aircraft ordered in this context would replace 6 P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF] since 1960.
On 17 August 2022, the Royal New Zealand Air Force announced on its official Twitter account that the first of four ordered aircraft had made its maiden flight. In this context, the Air Force said: “The first of our four P-8A Poseidon aircraft took to the skies of the United States today and completed a test flight before the systems were installed. This aircraft will be delivered to Aotearoa New Zealand later this year.”
The first P-8A aircraft will be delivered in December 2022. The remaining three aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2023.
The New Zealand government announced that the aircraft will serve other government departments, including the Department of Primary Industries, New Zealand Customs, the Department of Civil Defense and Emergency Management, the Rescue Coordination Centre, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The US Navy has signed a $109 million contract with Boeing to provide P-8A Poseidon training for the RNZAF. The contract, which includes a range of training systems and training software, is planned to prepare crew and maintainers to operate and maintain it safely and efficiently for decades.
Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon training system will allow the New Zealand Air Force to conduct 70 percent of all Poseidon-related training in a simulated environment. As part of the contract, Boeing will provide operational flight training, tactics and weapons training, a virtual maintenance instructor, a scenario creation station, and a review station.