The New Zealand Defense Force might purchase NZ$600 million worth two Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft to replace its aging five Hercules C-130 fleet.
Some of the Hercules fleet is already 50-years-old, various media reported Wednesday.
Members of foreign affairs and defense select committee in February had taken a C-17 from Australian Defense Force for a test run and in a report last week said that the C-17 has operating cost of NZ$20,000 per hour.
The committee’s report added that C-17s is desirable acquisition but pointed out that hardly about eight to 10 are left for sale.
Members of Parliament on the committee questioned how money could be found to purchase Globemasters. Secretary of Defense Helene Quilter advised the purchase of C-17 is not complete replacement for Hercules, and suggested that they could operate side by side.
The Ministry of Defence was analysing information from Boeing on the price and availability of the aircraft, and it was also working with its Australian counterparts to determine whether it would offset some of the C-17's operating costs.
Around $50 million of the $300 million price tag was believed to be for operating costs and replacement parts.
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said last month the C-17 was one of several large military aircraft being considered to assist with the Defence's Force airlift capacity.