Peruvian Navy Acquiring All Five RNZAF SH-2G(NZ) Seasprites

Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Kaman SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprite NZ3601 ‘01’ participating in a force protection exercise in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia, during Exercise Ocean Protector on February 7, 2006. All five of the RNZAF’s SH-2G(NZ)s have now been sold to the Peruvian Navy. Commonwealth of Australia

ALL FIVE of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Kaman SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprite helicopters are being sold to Peru’s Aviación Naval via Canada. A government-to-government contract for purchase of the helicopters was signed between Peru and Canada on October 9. The Seasprites, which are still currently in RNZAF service, will first be delivered to Canada, where General Dynamics will refurbish and adapt them to Peruvian requirements before delivery.

Equipped with new sensors and weapons, the helicopters will be operated from Peruvian Navy Lupo-class frigates on anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions. Currently, AB212ASWs and Sea Kings are being flown from these vessels. The acquisition of the Seasprites forms part of the continuing efforts to rebuild and modernise the Peruvian Navy.

The RNZAF’s 6 Squadron currently flies the SH-2G(NZ)s on behalf of the Navy, but is replacing them with eight ex-Royal Australian Navy SH-2G(I) Super Seasprites. The first of these reflew after refurbishment by the manufacturer on April 10, 2014, and the first three are due for delivery by the year-end, with all eight expected to be in service by mid-2015.

A timescale for delivery of the ex-RNZAF SH-2G(NZ)s to Peru has not been announced, but presumably they will initially continue to remain in RNZAF service until their replacements are fully operational. This would suggest that it is unlikely that work on their conversion to Peruvian requirements will begin until at least next year.

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