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Royal New Zealand Air Force

This is a discussion on Royal New Zealand Air Force within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I would have thought that new build C295 along the lines of USCG Ocean Sentry would be the what NZ ...


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Old February 25th, 2013   #1801
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I would have thought that new build C295 along the lines of USCG Ocean Sentry would be the what NZ was after if they cannot afford P8
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Old February 25th, 2013   #1802
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They won't be difficult to support in a few years time as there are quite a few 340 users around and SAAB will continue to support these airframes, and to produce parts, but yes, although the airframes will be reworked and the engines overhauled, they are still 'used' - some are former Scandinavian Airlines Systems examples.
It might work out well as REX airlines in Australia seem to operate the worlds largest fleet of SAAB 340's I think they have around 48 of them. So the parts for those planes will flowing for a while yet!
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Old February 25th, 2013   #1803
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The MPA/ISR role of the P-3 is a cornerstone of the defence/national security of the country. They are not going to revert to a less capable 2nd tier platform when the P-3's final are retired. The policy intention is the indeed the opposite. When Mapp released the White Paper he indicated that some capabilities were going to be enhanced and that some capabilities will be first tier - while other would be 2nd tier. The P-3 replacement was what he was talking about with reference to enhanced / first tier. The capability (current) and the capability requirement (future) is so intrinsically linked to other government departments and foreign policy aims of the government that its utility as a national and regional defence asset significant. The concept of affordability when it come to this particular asset/capability is different to say the buying of LAV's or advanced trainers or 2nd tier MPA platforms. The government knows that it can work around low cost options or even make temporary arrangements or even kill off those capabilities if they got fiscally desparate. However with the MPA/ISR role of the P-3/P-8 it becomes unaffordable not to have it. This is something that even Scrooge English has got his bonce around.

The only risk to the NZDF acquiring a first teir MPA/ISR platform is if the Greens gain more than 10% of the vote and a quarter of the opposition vote allowing them around 2-6 of them in the Shearer/(Robertson) cabinet. Kennedy Graham as DefMin and Russel Norman in Finance would have completely different policy settings than all previous governments.
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Old February 25th, 2013   #1804
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I think it would be more sensible looking at one of the ATR or Dash-8 variants than the SAABS - they are both in service in numbers within this country, vs the SAAB 340 which was replaced around 5 years ago

Both the ATR and Dash-8 have simulators available in the country iirc, as well as established maintainence facilities that could be leveraged to support the fleet.

Turkey plans to operate both the ATR-72(ASW) as well as the CN-235 (MP) - both fitted with the AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation & Control System) from Thales - Does anyone know if there is a large performance difference between the two or are they just hedging their bets accross two platforms ?
Lockheed Martin are talking to the UK govt and two or three other govts about forming an international consortium to manufacture and market a Maritime Patrol ASW ASuW variant of the C130J Hercules. Lockheed Pursues Possible International Consortium for Maritime C-130 | Defense News | defensenews.com This would build on the experience Lockheed have with the P3 and they are targeting C130J and/or P3 operating nations. The Sea Herc would be seen as a cheaper competitor to the Boeing P8. They are also developing an ISR variant of the C130J but will not market that thru the consortium. Lockheed have had a highly successful international consortium before before when they formed the European Consortium to market and sustain the F16 in Europe.

Looking ahead, if this venture is successful, it could be a very realistic choice for the RNZAF if Lockheed include the ISR capability. It would make sense in that would get more aircraft for buck with a C130J MPA than a P8. But time will tell. In line with Mr Cs post above it could be argued that a Sea Herc if fitted with the ISR suite as well would be a first tier assett.
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Old February 25th, 2013   #1805
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It was announced at Avalon today that CAE are to provide the RNZAF with a Beechcraft B200 classroom training system. CAE, Inc. : CAE to provide RNZAF with Beechcraft King Air 200 classroom training system | 4-Traders This may expliain why only four airframes were leased and the aircraft given transport series numbers instead of training series numbers.
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1806
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Looking ahead, if this venture is successful, it could be a very realistic choice for the RNZAF if Lockheed include the ISR capability. It would make sense in that would get more aircraft for buck with a C130J MPA than a P8. But time will tell. In line with Mr Cs post above it could be argued that a Sea Herc if fitted with the ISR suite as well would be a first tier assett.
The reasons against a C130 derivative in the NZ perspective are as follows.

1. It is only plausible if we buy the Herc J as the Herc H replacement. That is not a given. That the MPA platform and a Tactical Airlifter are of the same base platform is not entirely going to be the panacea to reduce operational costs all the time. 2nd teir stuff yes - but when the specialisation levels of teir 1 kick in the capability quantum is much more critical viz outputs.

2. It is not purely about the base platform 737 v C130 but what is inside the platform that matters most. Basic airframe costs per 737 and C130J are not entirely relevant or that much different. Will what Lockheed may promise to develop have the proprietary capabilities we are after in a post 2025 AP region where we look to seamlessly operate with very close partners. That is unknown.

4. In our Asia Pacific region our close partners are have/going to operate (US and OZ) or have the potential intention to operate it (Singapore) like we have, thus there are huge synergies at the operational and capability level that we can tap into.

5. Lockheed are just trying to get into the game - which is fine they are a business - but they are behind the P-8 ball on this. They are just making a pitch to the UK. There is no gaurantee that the Poms will bite and following their Nimrod debacle I think that they would wish to make any re-entry into the 1st teir MPA field issue free - which puts the P-8 in a fairly comfortable position in my view.
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1807
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The MPA/ISR role of the P-3 is a cornerstone of the defence/national security of the country. They are not going to revert to a less capable 2nd tier platform when the P-3's final are retired. The policy intention is the indeed the opposite.

The only risk to the NZDF acquiring a first teir MPA/ISR platform is if the Greens gain more than 10% of the vote and a quarter of the opposition vote allowing them around 2-6 of them in the Shearer/(Robertson) cabinet. Kennedy Graham as DefMin and Russel Norman in Finance would have completely different policy settings than all previous governments.
Well said and with one of the largest survellience areas to cover (not only NZ EEZ but all corners of the Southern Pacific to southern Ocean etc), then to top it off the requirement to operate in one environmental extreme to the other (eg from the hot Tropics to frozen Antarctic ice) NZ as a nation requires a proven long range capability (not some cheap substitute). I think this is one area NZG could articulate rather well. And as said, it is tied into foreign policy aims.

With its long-range assets/capabilities in place (and assured future), NZDF now that it is operating in a broader defence arrangement again (with the likes of the US etc), should perhaps scrub the short-medium range manned patrol options (which tend to be unique to particular country's needs) for NZ and SWP and look at appropriate interoperable UAV technology with its associated spin-off's in terms of networkability, access to a wider support base and hopefully much cheaper operating costs.

(As an aside,as for the Greens, well with their xenophobia all things about a certain rising Asian Power, if in the unlikely event they get to weild some power me-thinks the reality of governing in the real world with its wider implications, could ironically / hopefully see them supportive of such capabilities...... The other reality is that Labour would likely ring-fence certain areas like defence and foreign policy away from the Greens (after all they are perceived as an environmental & socially progressive party, there's plenty to offer them alternatively that would resonate with sections of the public (and media). Also politically, any public opinion fall-out which would be inevitable in some areas, could be sheeted back to the Greens. After all Labour ain't nasty and cunning for nothing all these years and no doubt the NY Branch will remind the party, from bitter experience, those pesky watermellons need to be kept at length from as much "real" power as possible )

Last edited by recce.k1; February 26th, 2013 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Tidied up grammar etc
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1808
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The MPA/ISR role of the P-3 is a cornerstone of the defence/national security of the country. They are not going to revert to a less capable 2nd tier platform when the P-3's final are retired.
Very true but there's no indication that the sensors fit on an MPA configured CN-295, CN-235 or a SAAB 2000 will result in either of these aircraft being be less capable than the P-3s they will replace - what all these aircraft lack in comparison to a P-3 off course is range and endurance but that is something the RNZAF might be willing to compromise on. As long as funding is available the RNZAF can specify a very high end sensors fit for its new MPA, at the end of the day it all comes down to funding.

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Lockheed Martin are talking to the UK govt and two or three other govts about forming an international consortium to manufacture and market a Maritime Patrol ASW ASuW variant of the C130J Hercules.
Some months ago Marshall Aerospace offered the RAF an MPA configured variant of the 'J'. Plans call for it to have a surface search radar, FLIR, MAD, hard points, bay for sonarbuoys, etc.
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1809
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Very true but there's no indication that the sensors fit on an MPA configured CN-295, CN-235 or a SAAB 2000 will result in either of these aircraft being be less capable than the P-3s they will replace - what all these aircraft lack in comparison to a P-3 off course is range and endurance but that is something the RNZAF might be willing to compromise on. As long as funding is available the RNZAF can specify a very high end sensors fit for its new MPA, at the end of the day it all comes down to funding.
Indeed. Range is a very significant factor in the P-3 replacement and when one considers the size of the area that the RNZAF has to deal with - a massive part of the South Pacific and Southern Ocean as well as being a regional contributor in our wider AOI - including agencies that are not directly military. That starts to put small-medium twin platforms on the sideline whatever sensor fit is wired as any compromise on range seriously starts to effect the utility of the NZ Govt ouputs, which transfer across the whole governments policy agenda. The 2009 Cabinet docs, which there is a link to someway back on this thread, noted the funding plan for the P-3 replacement at 4 airframes and at a costing range of between $1.6b to $2b using the P-8 as its guideline for a post 2025 introduction.
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1810
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Indeed. Range is a very significant factor in the P-3 replacement and when one considers the size of the area that the RNZAF has to deal with
Would you agree that given the RNZAFs operational requirements, that there's not much available in the market at the moment apart from the P-8 or an MPA configured C-130J?
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1811
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Does Airbus still market its A320-based MPA?
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1812
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The C130 MPA probably would a better solution with the longer range and cheaper than the P8
The NZ government is great like the UK having "wish lists" that don't materialise
NZ - F16, 8 x C130J, 3 x ANZACs etc
UK - 150 x F35s, 21x Nimrods, 25 x A400, 12 x Type 45s etc
So don't assume P8s are going to happen
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1813
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Does Airbus still market its A320-based MPA?
Don't thinks so. I've been looking at their website over last couple of months and all reference to it has gone. I was thinking of painting up a FSX FS A319 as one and wanted to have a visual refernce.
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Old February 26th, 2013   #1814
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The C130 MPA probably would a better solution with the longer range and cheaper than the P8
I would love to hear your reasons why.

Would the sensor fitout that we require be any cheaper?

Sonorbouys, weapons fitout ..? How is the "mooted" C130 going to deal with this.

How are you comparing the range differential between the C130MPA and a P-8? What part of the differences in mission flight variables have you calculated? Or have you just gone to wiki and looked up some raw basic data?
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Old February 27th, 2013   #1815
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The C130 MPA probably would a better solution with the longer range and cheaper than the P8
The NZ government is great like the UK having "wish lists" that don't materialise
NZ - F16, 8 x C130J, 3 x ANZACs etc
UK - 150 x F35s, 21x Nimrods, 25 x A400, 12 x Type 45s etc
So don't assume P8s are going to happen
Umm... No.

IIRC the cost for the P-8A Poseidon is expected to be ~USD$200 mil. per aircraft. That is for the aircraft, avionics fitout and integration, etc.

The base cost of a B737 (which the P-8A is based off) is between USD$51 - 87 mil. depending on model and fitout. In other words, the extra USD$110 - 150 mil. in cost is for avionics development and integration, airframe modification to accomodate sensors, hardpoints and a bomb bay.

The base price of a C-130J is ~USD$66 mil. I am certain that LockMart could put together a comprehensive MPA package which could fit aboard Herc II. After all, LockMart did put the palletized MPA package for the USCG HC-144 Ocean Sentry (CN-235MPA) in. What seems to have been overlooked though, is whether or not LockMart could put together an MPA/ISR package as comprehensive as that intended for the P-8A, with a significantly lower cost. Personally I do think that LockMart could put out an MPA version of the C-130J which is very capable, possibly even a rival for the P-8A. However, the cost would almost certainly also rival that of the P-8.

One thing I do disagree with other on (albeit with some caveats) is whether or not it would be a good idea for the RNZAF to invest in some smaller, twin-prop manned MPA aircraft. IMO it would be a good idea, particularly if an order was placed soon and IOC reached this decade.

My thinking is this. Right now Kiwi P-3K Orions conduct maritime surveillance flights of the NZ EEZ, as well as the EEZ of a number of S. Pacific island nations. In some cases, there are some rather long transits for the P-3K's to get on station, and there are only six P-3K's in inventory.

With the way things are looking, the RNZAF is likely to only get four P-8's, which means that while the individual aircraft is more capable, there is still a definite limit to what can be patrolled due to the limited number of airframes. Having a number of additional smaller, manned MPA could allow more patrolling of not only the NZ EEZ, but also the EEZ of those island nations. What I would look for would be a capable design which could potentially be useful in a hostile environment, but also have low operating costs and basic operating requirements. In essence, an MPA which could be flown to one of the island nations and operate from an airport or airfield there, then return to NZ.

I would prefer not having a UAV simply because a UAV just provides eyes in the sky, and could not reasonably be fitted with dropable stores (be then ordnance or storpedoes). Also operating a UAV from a foreign airfield could run into ATC and maintenance issues.

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