New Zealand has begun construction work to accommodate the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF’s) future fleet of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multi-mission aircraft (MMA) at RNZAF Base Ohakea.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Wellington announced on 29 November that Defence Minister Ron Mark had broken ground to mark the beginning of infrastructure works at the base.
“The coalition government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead of the first aircraft’s arrival in 2023,” said Mark in a statement.
“The purchase by the coalition government of these aircraft to replace the aging 1960s-era P-3K2 Orions demonstrated a strong commitment to the security of New Zealand, and reinforced our foreign policy interests through enabling stronger defence contributions to Pacific and global security,” stated the minister, adding that basing the P-8A fleet at Ohakea “will be a boost for the economy and vitality of Manawatu and the surrounding region”.
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