Boeing has been tasked with sustaining the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) P-8A Poseidon aircraft as part of a new contract signed between Boeing Defence Australia’s vice president and managing director Scott Carpendale and the New Zealand Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Kevin Short.
The initial contract — which commenced this month and is set to run to September 2028 — involves the provision of engineering and supply chain services for an initial six-year period.
The head agreement includes options to deliver services throughout the life of the fleet via rolling three-year extensions, subject to performance.
The Poseidon is a maritime patrol aircraft used for various roles, including reconnaissance and search and rescue. It’s a military variant initially based on Boeing’s workhorse narrow-body 737 Next Generation.
Rob Whight, integrated project team leader for the New Zealand Ministry of Defence, said Boeing Defence Australia would leverage its experience sustaining the global fleet.
“The partnership is key to the New Zealand Defence Force’s sustainment strategy, and they are looking forward to Boeing’s contribution over the life of type,” Whight said.
In lieu of the new contract, Boeing has established a new business entity, Boeing New Zealand Limited.
The subsidiary is expected to employ a local team supported by Boeing Australia and the company’s global P-8 Poseidon network.
“Our long-term objective is to expand P-8A support in New Zealand in response to the emerging needs of our customer, while pursuing other campaigns and capitalising on synergies between Australian and New Zealand programs,” Carpendale said.
“The head agreement acknowledges the importance of the relationship between the New Zealand Defence Force and Boeing in support of the platform and provides a framework for future growth.”
New Zealand’s fleet of four P-8As are set to be based at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first platform scheduled to be delivered in December 2022.
This latest contract with the NZDF comes a year after BDA secured a $60 million contract for the provision of deeper maintenance services to the Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon fleet.
This involves the delivery of major maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) work and spiral upgrades, including developing digital sustainment capability at RAAF Base Edinburgh.
The work is to be delivered over the life of the P-8A Poseidon fleet, tipped to provide new opportunities for the local supply chain, while also upskilling the broader defence and aerospace industry.
Australia’s Poseidon fleet, meanwhile, is based at RAAF Base Edinburgh and was introduced to partially replace the RAAF’s fleet of AP-3C Orions, together with the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system.
Last year, the federal government announced it is to purchase an additional two P-8A Poseidons, taking Australia’s total fleet to 14.