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Deal signed for modification of 757s

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

4 November 2005
Media statement

Deal signed for modification of 757s

The government has signed an $81.81 million contract to modify the Royal New Zealand Air Force's two Boeing 757s to enable them to carry cargo as well as personnel, Defence Minister Phil Goff said today.

The modifications will include the installation of a freight door in the main cabin, associated strengthening of the floor and door surrounds, a cargo handling system, medical evacuation capability, increased engine thrust, and an upgrade of the communications and navigation systems.

"The Air Force has been operating the two Boeings in a passenger-only configuration since they were first introduced in July 2003. However at the time of the purchase it was agreed that they would be modified to enable them to operate in a variety of configurations from full passenger to full cargo," Mr Goff said.

"Once the modifications are complete, the 757s will be able to perform a wide variety of strategic tasks in support of military operations and exercises, as well as emergency medical evacuations, disaster and humanitarian relief flights, and VIP transport."

Mr Goff said the scope of the modification programme has been established after consulting with industry and taking into account lessons learnt from operation of the 757s to date.

"Contracts have now been awarded to Mobile Aerospace Technologies, and Boeing's Integrated Defence Systems and Commercial Airplane Services divisions.

"The first 757 will commence modification in Mobile, Alabama, in the fourth quarter of 2006 and to return to service in the second quarter of 2007. Modification of the second 757 will be completed in third quarter of 2007," Mr Goff said.


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