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Update: New Zealand receives first P-8A

The Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF's) new Boeing P-8A Poseidon force will be used for the surveillance of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone and assist with humanitarian operations in the region. (Boeing)

New Zealand has received the first of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft ordered in 2018.

In a press statement, Boeing said that it handed over the aircraft to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, on 7 December. The delivery was made over eight months, after the keeling ceremony of the aircraft was announced on 16 March.

β€œAs a maritime nation, delivery of the P-8A will ensure New Zealand maintains a patrol and response capability that will protect and support law enforcement in our Exclusive Economic Zones and [the] Southern Ocean,” said Sarah Minson, acting deputy secretary, Capability Delivery of New Zealand's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Minson added that β€œthe P-8A will also assist our South Pacific neighbours and deliver long-range search-and-rescue capability.”

According to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announcement in April 2017, each aircraft will be equipped with a Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS), a Wescam MX-20HD electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) pod, the AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems' AN/APY-10 X-band multimission radar, and a Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems' ALQ-240 electronic support measures system.

Also included are Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS JTRSs); Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA) for the Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24(V)N distributed aperture infrared countermeasures (DAIRCM); system processors for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; and the Northrop Grumman AN/AAR-54 missile-warning sensors for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N. The aircraft will also have the Northrop Grumman LN-251 with embedded global positioning systems (GPS)/inertial navigation systems (EGIs). According to information held by Janes,

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