The US State Department has approved the possible sale of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to New Zealand.
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to New Zealand for P-8A aircraft and associated support. The estimated cost is $1.46 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 27, 2017.
The DSCA said the New Zealand Government intended to use the planes to replace its retiring P-3 maritime patrol fleet.
“This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security of the United States by strengthening the security of a major Non-NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability within the region,” the DSCA said.
According to the Boeing website the planes are designed for “long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions”.
The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction, along with an early warning self protection (EWSP) ability, otherwise known as electronic support measures (ESM). This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys.