Air Weapons: Killer Penguins Defend New Zealand

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December 21, 2013: New Zealand recently ordered a dozen or so Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 anti-ship missiles for their five remaining SH-2 helicopters. These half century old helicopters, armed with Penguins, now give New Zealand some combat aircraft capability against hostile surface ships. The Royal New Zealand Navy also has six equally elderly P-3K maritime patrol aircraft that are effective against submarines but are vulnerable against enemy surface ships. The P-3s had been the only combat aircraft in New Zealand since 2001 when the last combat jets were retired. But now, with the Penguin missiles New Zealand has the capability to quickly threaten invaders. There is also the Royal New Zealand Navy which consists of two frigates and six patrol boats. 

The Penguin weighs 370 kg (814 pounds) and has a range of 55 kilometers. The Penguin has been in service since 1973, and has been constantly upgraded. The current version costs about a million dollars each. The missile has been exported to many countries, including the United States and Brazil and is carried by F-16s, various types of helicopters, and small warships.

 

 


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