The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to New Zealand for P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and associated support at an estimated cost of $1.46bn. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification to Congress on 27th April.
DSCA says that New Zealand has requested the potential sale of up to four P-8As. In the most recent edition of is Defence Capability Plan, New Zealand said that it would increase the satellite communications bandwidth available to its current fleet of six P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft over the next three years. It also said that it was looking at options to replace the Orion in the 2020s, when their airframes will reach the end of their service life.
If the sale were to be confirmed, New Zealand would become the fifth international customer for the Boeing maritime patrol aircraft after India (12 aircraft), Australia (which recently received the first of its 12 aircraft), the UK (nine aircraft) and Norway (five aircraft).