The Royal New Zealand Air Force is set to receive four Mitsubishi MU-2F fixed-wing aircraft and six Kaman SH-2F Seasprite helicopters as training aids for its RNZAF Ground Training Wing (GTW).

The new training craft will replace the aging de Havilland Devon aircraft and Bell 47 Sioux helicopters, which no longer fulfil the purpose of training as the RNZAF fleet is currently undergoing modernisation.

The aircraft will be used by the GTW for technical training, allowing future air force avionics and aircraft technicians to learn their trades on aircraft more relevant to the air force’s modernised fleet.

The RNZAF GTW wing commander Nigel Sainsbury said the delivery achieves another initiative within the RNZAF strategic plan, allowing future training to be aligned with the rest of the Aviation Industry in New Zealand.

The first two MU-2Fs are due to arrive at RNZAF Base on 1 August 2009, while the second set between 8 and 12 August 2009 and the remaining six SH-2Fs to arrive by the end of 2009.