Kaman is set to begin negotiations with the New Zealand Government for the possible sale of 11 SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopters to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) following authorisation from the US Department of State.
The recent approval will allow New Zealand defence officials to seek better options for their future maritime helicopter requirements, although no investment decisions have been made yet by either party.
The possible sale includes a full motion flight simulator, training aids, spares inventory, publications and the introduction into service and through life support of the aircraft for the New Zealand Government.
The latest version of the multi-mission maritime helicopter of the SH-2G Super Seasprite, Kaman SH-2G(I) will boost New Zealand's vertical lift capabilities and replace its existing ageing SH-2G Seasprite helicopter fleet.
In addition to providing exceptional performance and low operating costs, the SH-2G(I) aircraft will support the New Zealand Ministry's objective to enhance naval helicopter capabilities through to 2025.
Capable of operating from offshore patrol vessels, the new capability will also play a vital national role in extended reach, surveillance, and air-delivered weapons capabilities for the ANZAC frigates.
The SH-2G features fully-integrated, multi-mission maritime weapon system and has been designed to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), over the horizon targeting, surveillance, troop transport, vertical replenishment, search and rescue, as well as utility missions.
In May 2012, the RNZN conducted Kaman SH-2G Seasprite helicopter flight trials from its new Protector-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), HMNZS Otago (P148) in the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Plenty areas.
The RNZN currently operates five SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters.
Image: The Royal New Zealand Navy's Seasprite helicopter conducting mission onboard HMNZS Otago. Photo: courtesy of the New Zealand Defence Force.