Three of the nation’s current C-130 Hercules planes date back to 1965 and the other two to 1969. They have been upgraded over the years, but frequent breakdowns have hampered some high-profile missions. At one point last year, the entire fleet was temporarily grounded.
New Zealand will take delivery of the first of the new C-130J-30 aircraft in 2024 with the full fleet operating by 2025. The price tag of 1.5 billion New Zealand dollars ($1 billion) includes a flight simulator and supporting infrastructure.