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New Zealand cleared for US$1.4bn C-130J Hercules purchase

New Zealand cleared for US$1.4bn C-130J Hercules purchase

The government of New Zealand has been approved to purchase five C-130J aircraft, at a cost of US$1.4 billion.

The government of New Zealand has been approved to purchase five C-130J aircraft, at a cost of US$1.4 billion.

The cost will cover the five Hercules aircraft, as well as spares, related equipment including Wescam MX-20HD electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turrets, defensive aids, training and support.

The US State Department said that the sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping improve the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. 

"The proposed sale will improve New Zealand's capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing its current airlift capability," a release from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

"This proposed sale will provide the capability to support national, United Nations, and other coalition operations."

Providing airlift capabilities to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Hercules aircraft will assist in extensive maritime surveillance and reconnaissance as well as improve its search and rescue capability, and increase its Antarctic mission capabilities due to the extra cargo capacity and aircraft performance.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin, with no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.