Originally Posted by Todjaeger
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.
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.
I agree entirely - one of the big disappointments was the proscrastination over the recent B-200 lease. Meaning that they procrastinated for another 5 years after procrastinating for the previous 5. I hope the idea to marry the MEPT platform with a 2nd tier MPA platform does not die a policy death in the meantime.
As for UAV use in the second tier role you make an excellent point about forward basing - even at the likes of Nuie, Rarotonga which have their own governments, and though the Crown (Realm of New Zealand) looks after their Defence needs (tui), as they are in constitutional free association they have every right to allow or disallow RNZAF aircraft over their airspace.
The UAV for inshore MPA has a couple of other public policy issues.
1. The public will not counterance "drone" aircraft "spying" on them within our own EEZ - especially within the 12 mile limit, and discomfort within the 24 perimeter line. What a political field day to be had by the Melons.
2. Flight rules around Civil Aviation and the use of UAV's - unknown and potentially unpopular impacts on private and commercial fixed wing and rotary ops.
The second issue with respect to flight parametres can be worked around BUT the first is one of those crazy public perception issues and the wide popular culture distrust of the military and intel services.
I can see the David Fisher Headlines in the Herald now .... Government to use Spy Drones on Kiwi Families.