Posted September 15, 2018 03:09:08 UK’s first air-clean-air aircraft is due to arrive in New Zealand on Sunday, with the country’s largest carrier offering to fly the unmanned vehicle out of its fleet at a cost of $4 million per hour.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) announced on Monday that it had received an initial order from the US-based firm Orbital ATK for the unmanned aircraft, which is expected to be operational by the end of the year.RNZA spokesman Peter Wright said the RNZAF was in discussions with Orbital ATK to determine the terms and conditions of the contract.
“It’s a really exciting project, one that will be hugely beneficial to our fleet and our customers,” he said.
“I think it’s the most advanced aircraft on the planet, and I think the RSP will be the largest in the world.”
In a statement, Orbital ATK said the company was “actively engaged in the design, development, testing and evaluation of the first aircraft” and would “work closely with the RPA to ensure the aircraft is ready for flight”.
“We are very excited to work with the New Zealand Government and the RnzAF to deliver the aircraft to the public and to meet its environmental objectives.”
The company’s chief executive officer, John Bowers, said the aircraft would “provide an unprecedented clean-air solution for New Zealand, with a low carbon footprint, low noise profile, low emissions and low cost”.
“With the RZM and its crew onboard, the RNAAF will be able to achieve its mission of providing a safe, clean, safe, and affordable way to get around the country,” he added.
The RNZF is responsible for air policing and patrolling the country.
The RNZ’s fleet has flown out of two aircraft in the past two years, and is now up to 14 planes, according to its website.
A New Zealand government spokeswoman said it was not aware of the specifics of the agreement, and it was still developing the details.
The announcement came amid a flurry of other major deals in the wake of the Paris climate change agreement, which was signed by more than 190 nations and is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the economy and the transport sector.
The US-led pact, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 26 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, aims to achieve that by cutting greenhouse gas emitters by 40 per cent by 2050.
The agreement also requires countries to slash greenhouse gas levels by at least 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, and aims to cut emissions by 41 per cent in 2030.