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RNZAF Orion to return to NZ after MH370 search

RNZAF Orion to return to NZ after MH370 search

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says the New Zealand P-3K2 Orion involved in the international search effort for missing Malaysian Airlines plane MH370 will arrive back in New Zealand on Thursday.

“I would like to thank the crew of the Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 who have played their part in the international search effort for MH370. They did a highly professional job,” says Dr Coleman.

“Around 40 Air Force personnel were involved in the search over 53 days. They completed 27 flights, spent 100 hours on search, and a total of 276 hours flying. The P-3K2 searched around 1.5 million square kilometres of the Southern Indian Ocean, an area about eight times the size of New Zealand.

“It was important that New Zealand played our part alongside our international partners in the unprecedented search effort for MH370. The Air Force’s upgraded P-3K2 Orion, with state of the art sensors, was an ideal option for search missions like this.

“The cost of the search for MH370 was managed within the NZDF’s budget and Air Force allocated hours. The total cost is estimated at $1.2 million.”


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