New Zealand’s Defence Minister Ron Mark is expected to propose to his cabinet colleagues a decision by the military to buy four Boeing P-8A Poseidons to replace the P-3K.
The plan will cost taxpayers $1.4 billion and a full decision will be made by the cabinet in July.
According Stuff, during a Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee hearing earlier this month, Mark said he had to start “from scratch” on the procurement plan, when he took on the job as minister, last year.
While the former National government had started the process, Mark said there was nothing to suggest there had been a paper taken to cabinet committee or Cabinet, and he would not endorse a recommendation, without understanding the decision-making process.
“I am confident now that the recommendation I will take to Cabinet committee stacks up, that it is robust, it’s justifiable and I’m in the stage where I am consulting with people,” he said.
In the briefing to the minister, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the Ministry of Defence said fleet of six P-3K2 Orions had undertaken military deployments and contributed to stewardship of New Zealand’s maritime area of responsibility for the past 60 years.
“The aircraft and their sensors have been upgraded several times but they are now beyond further upgrades.”
The Defence White Paper 2016 concluded the Orions needed to be replaced in the mid-2020s.
The P-8A Poseidon Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) is a modified Boeing 737-800ERX, bringing together a highly reliable airframe and high-bypass turbo fan jet engine with a fully connected, state-of-the-art open architecture mission system. This combination, coupled with next-generation sensors, dramatically improves anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities.
Additional source: U.S. Navy
Photo credit: U.S. Navy Photograph by Liz Wolter
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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