fasc project hero

Future Air Surveillance Capability

This project seeks to ensure that the Defence Force maintains a continuous, capable and relevant air surveillance capability.

Government approval

The New Zealand Defence White Paper 2016 confirmed the importance of maintaining an air surveillance and response capability for New Zealand’s immediate region and further afield.

Against this background, the Future Air Surveillance Capability project will ensure that the Defence Force maintains a continuous, capable, and relevant air surveillance capability beyond the retirement of the current P-3K2 aircraft.

It will ensure New Zealand’s future air surveillance capability is flexible, achievable, economical, robust and capable of supporting military operations, either alone or with partners, and other New Zealand government airborne surveillance requirements.

The scope of the project includes:

  • replacement of the current fixed wing Air Surveillance and Response Force capability, founded on six P-3K2 Orion aircraft, by mid-2025 with no less than an equivalent level of capability matched to current and future needs
  • the personnel, training, infrastructure, requirements managements, concepts, doctrine, support, testing, evaluation and introduction into service of future capabilities.


The project sought information from Industry on available options to address future air surveillance requirements of Defence in a Request for Information, released via the New Zealand Government Electronic Tender System (www.gets.govt.nz (external link) ). This initial approach to Industry has allowed the project to develop options for consideration by Government and to seek direction to proceed with the next phase of the project.  

Defence anticipates the provision of through-life support services for acquired aircraft systems will involve New Zealand industry to a greater extent than will the provision of the aircraft, which will more directly involve the original equipment manufacturers.

Current status

The Future Air Surveillance Capability project expects to seek Government direction on the maritime patrol capability investment case at the end of 2017. Following Government decision on the maritime patrol aircraft capability component, the project will develop investment cases for the complete air surveillance capability solution through delivery of the business case for Government consideration in 2018.

Contact: Neil Hygate, Director Air Domain
Email: industry@defence.govt.nz