The SH-2G(I) Seasprite has been formally accepted into New Zealand Defence Force service.
A ceremony to mark the milestone was held at RNZAF Base Auckland on Friday, attended by Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Secretary of Defence Helene Quilter and Kaman Aerospace vice president James Larwood.
New Zealand is acquiring 10 Super Seasprites, designated SH-2G(I) – I for International – to replace its five older SH-2Gs currently in service (and which in turn have been sold to Peru). Eight will be used operationally, while two will be broken down for spare parts.
So far three SH-2G(I)s have been delivered to Auckland, with the remaining five operational aircraft to be delivered by September.
The aircraft were originally built on order for the Royal Australian Navy as the SH-2G(A), before that controversial contract was cancelled in 2008.