Royal New Zealand Air Force to Replace King Air 200s with King Air 350s

New Zealand’s news publication Newsie is reporting that the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) will be replacing the Beechcraft 200s it currently uses with four leased Hawker Pacific King Air 350s. The first of the four KA350s arrived last year. The aircraft will be modified out to be training platforms that will train crews to go on to other aircraft (C-130 Hercules, P-3K2 Orion, Boeing 757 mentioned). The planes will operate out of RNZAF Base Ohakea (located near Bulls, 25 km north-west of Palmerston North in the Manawatu).

Air Commodore Darryn Webb, Assistant Chief Capability NZDF, told Newsie:

“Having the KA350 aircraft at Ohakea means we no longer have to send our air warfare officers overseas to train.

“We now have an aircraft that is fully equipped with training consoles and a mission management system that covers all aspects of training required to graduate air warfare officers.

“Our training is also multi-dimensional, because we can now provide multi-crew training for graduated KA350 pilots while concurrently training air warfare officers.

“The KA350 is a step up from the B200 in both capacity and capability. It’s a great aircraft that will serve the RNZAF well.”

Hawker Pacific New Zealand will provide support for the fleet. The planes will featured specialist systems provided by MAROPS and Rockwell Collins.

 

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