Boeing [BA] delivered the first of four P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to New Zealand during a ceremony in Seattle, Wash.

New Zealand first signed the contract for the four aircraft in 2018. In 2020, Boeing won a $1.55 billion modification award to build 18 Lot 11 P-8A aircraft for the U.S., New Zealand and South Korea (

Defense Daily, March 31, 2020).

New Zealand’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft delivered during a ceremony in Seattle, Wash. on December 7, 2022. (Photo: Boeing)
New Zealand’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft delivered during a ceremony in Seattle, Wash., on December 7, 2022. (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing announced it started building the first New Zealand P-8A last March at the Spirit AeroSystems facility in Wichita, Kan., where all Boeing 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are built. The P-8 is based on a modified 737 aircraft (Defense Daily, March 17).

New Zealand intends for the P-8As to replace the country’s fleet of six P-3K2 Orions. 

The P-8 acts as a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. 

“As a maritime nation, delivery of the P-8A will ensure New Zealand maintains a patrol and response capability that will protect and support law enforcement in our Exclusive Economic Zone and Southern Ocean,” Sarah Minson, acting Deputy Secretary for Capability Delivery at the New Zealand Ministry of Defense, said in a statement.

“The P-8A will also assist our South Pacific neighbors and deliver long-range search and rescue capability,” she added.

Boeing said the three remaining aircraft are in “advanced stages of production” and due to be delivered in 2023.  These P-8As will be based at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea.

The company also said its Boeing Defense Australia subsidiary will provide sustainment services for P-8s along with the support of the P-8 International Program.

“The unmatched, multi-mission maritime patrol capabilities of the P-8 will provide New Zealand the ability to extend their reach into the Pacific and beyond,” Philip June, vice president and program manager for P-8 Programs at Boeing, said in a statement.

June noted New Zealand is the ninth global customer of the P-8. Boeing said the company has delivered 155 P-8s around the world to six customers so far while the total fleet has accrued over 450,000 mishap-free flight hours. 

The other P-8 customers include the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, India, Norway, and South Korea.

In February, Boeing delivered the 12th and final P-8I aircraft to India under a deal from 2009 and extended in 2016 (Defense Daily, Feb. 25).

Also in February, Boeing said it intended to offer the P-8A for Canada’s plan to replace its current aging fleet of CP-140 Aurora long-range maritime patrol aircraft. Canada is modernizing the current aircraft fleet to extend their service lives to 2030 but is looking for a replacement to come after that (Defense Daily, Feb. 10).