The first upgraded P-3K2 Orion (NZ 4204) for the Royal New Zealand Air Force has made its initial test flight.
August 11: The first upgraded P-3K2 Orion (NZ 4204) for the Royal New Zealand Air Force made its initial test flight at contractor L-3 Integrated Systems’ facility in Greenville, Texas after a three-year modification programme.
The air force’s fleet of six aircraft will all receive a brand-new ‘glass’ cockpit with multi-functional displays and upgrades to their surveillance, reconnaissance, navigation and communication systems. This is the second time the six 40-year old aircraft have received a major modification, being upgraded from existing P-3B airframes during the 1980s.
The remainder of the fleet will be upgraded at the Safe Air facility at Blenheim Airport, Marlborough in New Zealand from August 26. The P-3K2 will be operated by 5 Squadron, based at Auckland.