Boeing has unveiled the first P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) in its new livery, which features a Kiwi roundel.
“The aircraft features the iconic Kiwi roundel, a native bird to New Zealand,” Sheena Vince Cruz, Boeing P-8 Asia-Pacific region program manager said in a statement dated July 21, 2022.
”Although flightless, the Kiwi bird is recognizable and will continue ‘flying’ as a symbol on the P-8A for decades to come,” Cruz added.
The New Zealand Government purchased four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft that will eventually replace the current fleet of six aging P-3K2 Orion aircraft.
Boeing first announced that it was procuring parts for the P-8A Poseidon for government clients, which includes the RNZAF, in March 2019. The first phase for assembly of the P-8A Poseidon for New Zealand began in March 2022.
First flight for the RNZAF P-8A Poseidon is scheduled in the coming weeks followed by mission systems installation. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to the New Zealand Ministry of Defense in the latter part of 2022.