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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; Originally Posted by KH-12 I guess with a P8 you would hope that the sensors( AN/APS-137B(V)5) are a whole lot ...


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Old July 23rd, 2006   #31
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I guess with a P8 you would hope that the sensors( AN/APS-137B(V)5) are a whole lot better than the P3 so that you can cover a much larger area of ocean more quickly, although the electro-optical systems are probably not that much more advanced than the latest P3K update. The radar should be a reasonable step-up from the Israeli Elta system going in the P3K's.

I would imagine that 4 P8's will cost around the 1 Billion dollar mark depending on systems config, luckily the airframe is a known commodity and there are some economies of scale already there.

I would imagine that the the Orions will be used at least until 2020 with the last aircraft from the latest update not coming online until 2010, likewise with the C-130 program. Would'nt be surprised if 2025 was a more realistic replacement date, by which time the airframes will be 60 years old
The P8 will have a better availability, based on a commercial design and will fly much higher generally as well, less chance of corrosion damage.

You have to remember that by 2020 UAVs will be plugged into the operational grid of most western forces so not unrealistic for the NZDF.

I think we a wondering off topic tho.
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Old July 23rd, 2006   #32
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And by 2020-2025 the Hercules will cost as much as the P-8, the above figure for both in American dollars, not New Zealand dollars. Possibly another $4 billion in New Zealand dollars. I wouldn't even be surprised if Lockheed lenghtened and widened the aircraft by then, with a new C-140A aircraft.

Since the Anzacs were commissioned at the end of the past century, I suspect they should live until 2030-2035. By that time to replace them with the same warships Australia will acquire, it wouldn't surprise me they would cost a billion dollars each in New Zealand dollars.

Of course, this is really looking into a crystal ball. I wonder whether the New Zealand defence force spending will reflect the same percentage of GDP.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #33
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I wonder if the RNZAF propose to conduct ab initio helicopter training on the new LUH or if they subcontract that phase out to a civilian R22 operator, would probably be a cheaper option, then transition to the 2 engine LUH post solo.
The subcontracting scenario sounds like the most feasible (read: cheapest) idea. There are a couple of helicopter flight schools in the lower NI area that could handle the teaching load easily.

Has there been any further developments on the LUH purchase? I can't find anything anywhere.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #34
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The P8 will have a better availability, based on a commercial design and will fly much higher generally as well, less chance of corrosion damage.
I think that could be a problem. The way the RNZAF use the Orion for S&R they require a low speed, low to medium altitude, high loiter time aircraft. I doubt that turbofans are the way to go to if they want to maintain the flexibility of turboprops.

Sorry to wander OT but I wanted to give my 5c before they get taken out of circulation
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Old July 31st, 2006   #35
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The subcontracting scenario sounds like the most feasible (read: cheapest) idea. There are a couple of helicopter flight schools in the lower NI area that could handle the teaching load easily.

Has there been any further developments on the LUH purchase? I can't find anything anywhere.
There has been talk of 6 aircraft being proposed for this role, most people are assuming it will be either the A109 or EC135, although I think that these aircraft will be very busy given the hourly operating cost of the NH90, can't imagine you would need more than a couple of airframes for the "training role" per se. Looks like 9 NH90 have been ordered rather than 8 as well. I think the real intention is to use them to complement the NH90 in operational tasks that don't require that size of aircraft , calling them training aircraft sounds like a bit of a rouse.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #36
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Can anyone give me a straight answer as to why we couldnt purchase the LUH helo and operate them under a civil contractor? IE The Police Department. Instead of the Defence Forces. The LUH purchase would appear in my opinion to be irrelevant to the overall Defence Forces procurement programmes due to the non military nature of its intended operations, other than training.

It can be used for the Military if needed immediatly, but in the normal day to day training and light ops, why it couldnt operate within the Police Departments jurisdiction.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #37
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Can anyone give me a straight answer as to why we couldnt purchase the LUH helo and operate them under a civil contractor? IE The Police Department. Instead of the Defence Forces. The LUH purchase would appear in my opinion to be irrelevant to the overall Defence Forces procurement programmes due to the non military nature of its intended operations, other than training.

It can be used for the Military if needed immediatly, but in the normal day to day training and light ops, why it couldnt operate within the Police Departments jurisdiction.
I believe that it will have a military role, in the early days the Sqioux was employed in an observation role by the Army but was abandoned as attrition took hold there is no reason why the the new aircraft could'nt fill this role also, I can also see a role for the LUH in co-operation with the SAS, alot of the training will also be advanced tactical operations such as low flying / Formation flying, probably NV also, not something you would nessessarily want to subcontract outside the Air Force, it is certainly not a core mission for the Police.

I believe that ab initio helicopter training should be contracted out to a civilian training organisation as operating costs should be cheaper, this will free up the LUH for advanced training and associated military / civil defence / SAR duties.

Last edited by KH-12; July 31st, 2006 at 06:47 PM.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #38
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Military doctrine and police doctrine are two different beasts, always have been and always will be. I am sure the air force does not wish to confuse its new pilots with civilian rules of engagement, and want no part of civilian training. I would rather have the Australian military train New Zealand pilots than use civilian instructors. Yes, the pilots will learn their flying skills, but the doctrine will be out of whack.

The air force will use the LUHs in operations besides training anyway, whenever the usage of a NH90 will be overkill. For example, you wouldn't use a truck to move a portable TV, you would use the back seat of a car. Then again, if the car is too small for your big screen TV, you'll use a truck.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #39
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Military doctrine and police doctrine are two different beasts, always have been and always will be. I am sure the air force does not wish to confuse its new pilots with civilian rules of engagement, and want no part of civilian training. I would rather have the Australian military train New Zealand pilots than use civilian instructors. Yes, the pilots will learn their flying skills, but the doctrine will be out of whack.
The RAF subcontract out their ab inito flight training to civilian commercial flying schools. I would assume that the flight syllabus could be tailored for the military, but as for the doctrine problem, I guess the RAF have a solution. Sorry, but as a civilian I don't really have a decent understanding of this issue.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #40
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The RAF subcontract out their ab inito flight training to civilian commercial flying schools. I would assume that the flight syllabus could be tailored for the military, but as for the doctrine problem, I guess the RAF have a solution. Sorry, but as a civilian I don't really have a decent understanding of this issue.
Yes it is a reasonable thing to do , these pilots will have already done alot of hours in CT4E's and King Airs within the RNZAF flying training process, doctrine would not have a lot to do with just getting to grips with flying a rotary winged aircraft, the advanced training yes, the ab initio helicopter not really, its not like you are going to teach formation or tactical flying in the first 50hrs or so.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #41
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There has been talk of 6 aircraft being proposed for this role, most people are assuming it will be either the A109 or EC135, although I think that these aircraft will be very busy given the hourly operating cost of the NH90, can't imagine you would need more than a couple of airframes for the "training role" per se. Looks like 9 NH90 have been ordered rather than 8 as well. I think the real intention is to use them to complement the NH90 in operational tasks that don't require that size of aircraft , calling them training aircraft sounds like a bit of a rouse.
Hey firstly it's fantastic to see the RNZAF finally getting a decent piece of true military kit

With regard to the LUH - the word on the street seems to be 6 is the number, but I've seen absolutely nothing anywhere official that indicates what types are shortvlisted - EC635 would be my 'dream machine' but it's all spec for now. Anyone with an ear truly close to the ground heard what shortlisted?

Okay so here's my pick (he says as he reaches for the crystal ball)... as Defence Minister states "operational funding will be tight..." which means in a few years we'll find we have 'em but can't afford to fly 'em - so takes arm-twisting from Aussie before we dust 'em off for E. Timor or whereever.

They find that the 6 LUH purchased were simply too few and are working damned hard to keep up with op demands. New Govt then decides it needs more of the cheaper LUH & suddenly we're faced with an excellent opportunity to go for an armed LUH/LOH chopper based on LUH design (EC635 - grunt, grunt!)! Finally the NZ Army get the air cover they've been needing in the field! Oh well, dreams are free!

I know when they first started looking at Sioux replacement the plan was for a civvy operator to maintain (& own?) the fleet - like the 42Sqn B200 fleet, that was unlikely to be overseas deployable. The requirements have obviously changed but will the new LUH be overseas deployable!?! Wherever you take an NH-90 you'll need a LUH for the smaller tasks so let's hope.

Hey here's a thought - it's been clearly stated that NH-90 will be 'stowed on the vehicle deck' of the MRV - how on earth do they intend to roll them on/off with the ramp angles that they'll have to contend with - I guess on the back of a flat deck truck!?! Imagine trying to unload them if they need to use the LCM's - would you dip an NH-90 toes in salt water??? The 'hatches' in the MRV deck do not constitute a lift as I understand it nor are they likely to be used to lift an NH-90 up to the flight deck. Oh so many questions....damn 0 I can't wait till 2010 to see these babies arrive!!!
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Old July 31st, 2006   #42
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Hey firstly it's fantastic to see the RNZAF finally getting a decent piece of true military kit
Well, I guess you could qualify that by saying that by saying its been a long time coming. When the RNZAF got the A4's in 1971 they were a massive upgrade from the vampires and canberra's and certainly qualified as "a decent piece of true military kit".

If you extend the same projection to the current situation the NH90 will be asked to serve NZ's needs for at least 40 years and probably a lot longer. That is what worries me.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #43
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I bet that the ill informed media is going to have a field day with the possibility of the NH-90 and LUH contracts costs exceeding $1bn. They never seem to understand that introducing new equipment costs more than buying more examples of equipment already in service, there are training costs, spares and logistics costs. But then again if the current govt hadn't taken so long to make a decision we could have bought them when the Kiwi was stronger against the Euro.

Hopefully the current 9 NH-90s and rumoured 6 LUHs may represent an initial order, with possibility of more in future once the new machines are integrated into service.
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Old July 31st, 2006   #44
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Well, I guess you could qualify that by saying that by saying its been a long time coming. When the RNZAF got the A4's in 1971 they were a massive upgrade from the vampires and canberra's and certainly qualified as "a decent piece of true military kit".

If you extend the same projection to the current situation the NH90 will be asked to serve NZ's needs for at least 40 years and probably a lot longer. That is what worries me.
Yep absolutely agree - it's been far too long coming! The RNZAF damn well deserve a decent chopper after all the mess the Govt's over the last 15-20 years have made! Yeah I'm concerned with the expectation that these babies will last 30-40 years - the only reason the Hueys lastest so long was they have no modern electronics & basic airframe! I'd give the NH-90 20 years before they've slogged the guts out of them (they'll be like our C-130's - highest houred in the world due to the small fleet size).
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Old July 31st, 2006   #45
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Yep absolutely agree - it's been far too long coming! The RNZAF damn well deserve a decent chopper after all the mess the Govt's over the last 15-20 years have made! Yeah I'm concerned with the expectation that these babies will last 30-40 years - the only reason the Hueys lastest so long was they have no modern electronics & basic airframe! I'd give the NH-90 20 years before they've slogged the guts out of them (they'll be like our C-130's - highest houred in the world due to the small fleet size).
I think with the long development cycles in todays aircraft there is an expectation that equipment will last for a reasonable period of time as long as they can still do the job required of them, look at the B52 for example or the KC-135's. With the composite airframe the fatigue life should be less of an issue and as long as avionics etc can be upgraded then I don't see why they should'nt enjoy a service life comparable to the UH-1H. With the high operating costs of the NH90 versus the UH-1H I would hope that the LUH will take some of the load with regard to those tasks that don't require the big beast. I would'nt like to be the first pilot to put a dent in one
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