15 November 2010
Would the MC-12 Huron be a suitable candidate for New Zealand’s small MPA requirement? US Air Force (photo : AviationNews)
In its Defence White Paper published earlier this month, the New Zealand government has identified the need for a “maritime patrol aircraft with short takeoff and landing and sufficient range” to complement it fleet of P-3K Orions.
The White Paper identified a “number of low-end regional surveillance tasks (for both defence and other agencies)” in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone and the South Pacific and to maximise the new aircraft’s cost-effectiveness it would also be expected to perform a “transport and multi-engine flying training and consolidation function”. This is currently provided by five leased B200 King Airs, but the original contract expired in April 2008 and is being renewed on a year-by-year basis.