The New Zealand Ministry of Defence has awarded Boeing a US$21.4 million contract to upgrade the fleet of six P-3K2 Orion aircraft with an undersea acoustics and intelligence technology that is intended to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) to more effectively find, monitor and deter submarine threats.
Boeing stated that it is currently supplying a similar system to the US Navy and the Indian Navy, and will soon install the system on Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response aircraft.
Boeing will develop, install and test the new acoustic processing capability for the RNZAF, and will provide associated airborne, ground and classroom training, and spares and maintenance support.
Boeing Defence Australia will provide through-life support, which will continue on a year-to-year basis until the aircraft are retired. Suppliers include Safe Air, Beca and Marops, and Sonartech Atlas.
Development work will be performed in the US, with integration and testing in New Zealand.