The first Royal New Zealand Air Force SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite maritime helicopter made its first test flight at Kaman’s manufacturering plant in Bloomfield, Connecticut, on 15 April 2014. After production flight tests, the aircraft with temporary US registration N167KM will be used for maintenance and aircrew training.
New Zealand ordered ten of the SH-2G(I)s, to be flown by Navy pilots with RNZAF No. 6 Squadron at RNZAF Base Auckland/Whenuapai. The unit currently flies five older SH-2G(NZ) versions. All new Seasprites are expected to be delivered by mid-2015.
The Kaman ASW choppers are to be operated from the Royal New Zealand Navy ANZAC class frigates F77 Te Kaha and F111 Te Mana, as well as from the multi-role vessel L421 Canterbury and offshore-patrol vessels of the Protector-class: P148 Otago and P55 Wellington.
Source: Kaman / RNZAF / RNZN