The Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) fleet of six P-3K2 Orion aircraft have had a simulation training upgrade.

The upgrade was part of a $22 million contract to enhance New Zealand’s airborne anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. It included state-of-the-art acoustics processing.

The technology had never been installed on P-3 Orion aircraft before, said Boeing, who carried out the work in under 18 months.

"By successfully integrating this ASW technology onto the RNZAF’s fleet of P-3s, the Boeing team has demonstrated that we can rapidly extend this critical ASW capability to numerous platforms around the globe,” said Rob Bergeron, Boeing Underwater Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program manager.

First awarded in late 2016, the project included upgrades and modifications to mission systems and aircraft components, as well as inflight and ground-based simulation for training, spares and maintenance support.

Boeing said the RNZAF fleet now has dramatically-improved ASW capability which will bridge the gap until replacement with the P-8A Poseidon.