New Zealand’s fourth and final Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has arrived in the country. 

The aircraft touched down at the Ohakea air base following a delivery flight from the USA, according to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).


Source: Royal New Zealand Air Force

In the Asia-Pacific, Australia, India, and South Korea also operate the P-8

The RNZAF has been building up its ability to operate the P-8A following the delivery of the first aircraft in December 2022. 

Previously, the RNZAF has said that the type will commence operations toward the middle of 2023.


Source: Royal New Zealand Air Force

The P-8A will replace the RNZAF’s retired Orion fleet

The RNZAF retired its Lockheed P-3K2 Orion fleet in February several months earlier than planned, citing sustainment and personnel issues. At the time, it said other types, such as the Lockheed Martin C-130H, would support search and rescue operations pending the service entry of the new P-8As.

New Zealand is the Asia-Pacific’s fourth P-8 operator following Australia, India, and South Korea.  While Australia and South Korea operate the P-8A, India operates a special P-8I Neptune variant equipped with indigenous systems.