New Zealand considers Super Seasprite helicopters for navy requirement
By Jon Grevatt
The New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MoD) is undertaking a final review of SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters that were previously rejected by the Australian government, in support of a formal bid for the aircraft.
Des Ashton, deputy secretary of Defence (Acquisition) in the MoD, told IHS Jane's that the assessment, a final evaluation of the helicopters' airworthiness, was under way on 31 January before the submission of a proposal to government to procure the helicopters.
"We are looking at that [the purchase of the helicopters] very actively," he said. "We have a gateway review going on right now - today - and basically we are...determining whether we can put a viable proposal through to our government." Ashton added: "We are looking at this [helicopter] as the preferred option for retaining a naval helicopter capability [within the Royal New Zealand Navy]."
The potential purchase could be worth up to about USD200 million and includes 11 helicopters, a flight simulator, training devices, spares, and associated equipment.
New Zealand's interest in the Super Seasprites emerged in early 2012 and was followed by an initial gateway review of the aircraft, assessing any risks associated with the bid, which was undertaken by New Zealand's State Services Commission, which provides oversight of government procurement.197 of 389 words
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