The New Zealand government has announced it has sold five soon-to-be-retired RNZN SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters to Peru.
The aircraft were new-build machines which entered service with 3SQN in 2001 and 2003, and which are now in the process of being replaced by 10 SH-2G(I) Super Seasprites which were part of a former Australian order, the project for which was cancelled in March 2008.
New Zealand previously operated four ex-USN SH-2F Seasprites in an interim capacity from 1997 to 2001, and also has six SH-2F airframes on strength for maintenance instruction.
“Our recent purchase of eight new, more sophisticated Seasprite helicopters meant the older model Seasprites were available for sale and a deal has been struck with the Peruvian Government for them to buy them for their Navy,” Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said in a statement.
The sale of the five machines as well as a spares package and some AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles to Peru has been valued at NZ$30m (A$28.5m). Export approval was required from the US government, and the sale was brokered by a Canadian government agency.
The first of the ex-RAN machines, eight of which will be used operationally and the remainder as a source of spares, is expected to arrive in New Zealand in January.