While Peru will get five of New Zealand’s old SH-2G (NZ) versions, the first new SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite maritime multi-role helicopter for the New Zealand Defence Force was officially handed over at the Kaman plant in Bloomfield, Connecticut on 1 December 2014.
Auckland signed the deal for the 10 new helicopters in May 2013, for US$ 120 million, including spare parts, a full mission flight simulator and logistics support. The first three aircraft are projected to arrive in Auckland in early 2015 with the remaining deliveries of helicopters and equipment expected to occur by the end of 2015.
New Zealand ordered the chopppers to be flown by Navy pilots with RNZAF No. 6 Squadron at RNZAF Base Auckland/Whenuapai. The unit currently flies the five older SH-2G(NZ) versions that will make their way to Peru. 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.
The SH-2G Super Seasprite is to fly during day and night in all weather conditions. It is based on an original design for the US Navy, which has replaced the machine by bigger, heavier and more expensive SH-60 Seahawks and derivatives.
The SH-2G can fulfill anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), over the horizon targeting, surveillance, troop transport, vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and utility missions. The SH-2G Super Seasprite is currently operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Egyptian Air Force and the Polish Navy and – soon – the Peruvian Navy.