New Zealand to buy new Boeing maritime patrol planes
New Zealand announced plans Monday to spend NZ$2.35 billion (US$1.6 billion) on four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the US government.
Defence Minister Ron Mark said they would replace the country’s ageing fleet of six P-3 Orions which have been operating since the 1960s.
“The purchase enables New Zealand to continue to deploy in a wide range of airborne maritime situations independently and, when required, work with partners including Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States,” he said.
Mark added that approximately half of the budget would go towards purchasing the planes while the rest would be spent on costs such as infrastructure and flight simulators.
The new planes will begin operations in 2023.
The purchase comes just weeks after close neighbour Australia announced plans to invest US$5.2 billion to develop and buy high-tech US drones for joint military operations and to monitor waters including the South China Sea.
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