Work is well under way at RNZAF Base Ohakea to construct a new facility to house the air force's new maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft.
The new Te Whare Toroa facility will house the new P-8A Poseidon aircraft, expected to be delivered by Boeing sometime in 2023.
The project has a price tag of around $250 million.
The construction of the hangar facility is one of the largest ever undertaken on a Defence Force base in New Zealand, expected to have created hundreds of jobs by completion as well as acting as an injection to the Rangitīkei and Manawatū economies.
Ministry of Defence deputy secretary capability delivery Mike Yardley said there was currently around 200 construction workers on site, with 500 workers set to be working on the project at its peak.
"When complete, the 200-metre long facility being built at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea will become the home of No 5 Squadron - relocated from Whenuapai - and their four new RNZAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft," Yardley said.
"The foundations are being laid and the next stage in the construction will be to erect the vertical structure. Two cranes on site will be used for this phase."
The purchase of the four P-8A Poseidon aircraft to be housed in the facility was signed off by the then-Labour/NZ First coalition government in 2018, at a cost of $2.3 billion.
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According to a Defence Force document outlining the use of the aircraft, the NZDF plans to utilise them predominantly for search and rescue purposes, but also to protect our borders from transnational criminal activity and assisting allies with military surveillance activities overseas.
The aircraft are expected to be in operation for at least 30 years, replacing the older P-3 Orions.
The spokesperson said Boeing will start assembling the main body of the first New Zealand aircraft early next year in Wichita County, Texas, before it is shipped to Seattle for a tailored fit-out of technologies and systems.
The first aircraft is due to arrive at Ohakea in early 2023.