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Mapp: Second Boeing Back At Whenuapai

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Wayne Mapp
Wayne Mapp

11 February 2009 - The Air Force's second Boeing 757 arrived at the Whenuapai air force base late today [Eds: 5.30pm Wednesday Feb 11] after modifications in the United States.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said that the modifications are the latest steps in improving air support capability. The aircraft has had cargo-carrying capability added to its traditional passenger-carrying role and upgrades to its communications and navigation systems.

"A great deal of hard work has gone into significantly increasing the aircraft's versatility, and therefore the ability of the Royal New Zealand Air Force to support a wide range of tasks around the world," Dr Mapp said.

"The previous Labour government clearly miscalculated the complexity and exclusivity of this upgrade, resulting in delays to the arrival of this state-of-the-art capability.

"The communications and navigation systems upgrades have future-proofed the Air Force's two Boeings so they can meet planned regulatory requirements for unrestricted global airspace access.

"The 757 upgrades are just one part of a massive modernisation programme that will see all of the Air Force's operational aircraft either upgraded or replaced in the coming years," the Minister said.

The first upgraded Boeing arrived home in August last year and is now operational.

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