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First of new Navy helicopters arrive

5 June 2001 Media Statement

First of new Navy helicopters arrive

The first two of five new SH2G(NZ) Seasprite helicopters are scheduled to arrive by ship at Bledisloe Container Wharf in Auckland tomorrow morning, Defence Minister Mark Burton said today.

The helicopters, destined for service with the Royal New Zealand Navy, will be unloaded from the vessel Taronga and flown to Auckland International Airport.

Supplied by Kaman Aerospace Corporation from Connecticut, USA, the Seasprites will undergo further checks before delivery to the Ministry of Defence.

Kaman Aerospace, with the assistance of New Zealand company Safe Air, will carry out a stringent series of checks and adjustments and complete the final test programme.

"The two helicopters will then be offered to the Ministry of Defence for final acceptance and delivery," Mark Burton said.

"A formal handing over ceremony at Whenuapai Air Base is expected to take place in late July.

"This model of the Seasprite naval helicopter incorporates the latest technology and has been designed to meet New Zealand's requirements.

"The Seasprites are an excellent addition and will form part of a practical Navy fleet, matched to New Zealand's wider security needs", Mark Burton said.

ENDS

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