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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 htbrst the Skyhawks will probably be replaces by T-50 Golden Eagles, or M-346 etc. There could be ...


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Old January 7th, 2010   #901
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Originally Posted by htbrst View Post
the Skyhawks will probably be replaces by T-50 Golden Eagles, or M-346 etc.
There could be more news released during the Singapore air show on 2 to 7 Feb 2010. And as a Singaporean, I certainly welcome this news.

I believe the Singapore Skyhawks in France are scheduled to retire in 2011. Further, I note that Lockheed Martin is a joint venture...


[I've posted detailed comments but they have been cut-off when my link here crashed - I'm upset and refuse to retype - if other forum members could be so kind, please paste my prior comments which would have been sent to you via an email via your thread subscription]

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Old January 7th, 2010   #902
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Originally Posted by stryker NZ View Post
Just heard on TV3 news that a local defence contractor is bidding for the contract to train air force pilots from Singapore out of Ohakea. Im not sure of the details as I cant find the info on the 3 news site yet and the radio new zealand link is currently broken can anyone else find any info on it?
Relevant link and story below:

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Training of Singapore pilots seen as huge boost

The Airways Corporation says the training of Singaporean air force fighter pilots in New Zealand would be a huge boost to the local aviation industry.

The Government says the global defence contractor Lockheed Martin is in negotiations with the Singaporean air force to train fighter pilots at Ohakea and Whenuapai.

A spokesperson for Lockheed Martin, Kenneth Ross, has confirmed to Radio New Zealand that the company is competing to run the Fighter Wings course for the Republic of Singapore Air Force, which is currently operated in France by another organisation.

But Mr Ross says it would be premature to comment while the tender process is under way.

Lockheed Martin already runs basic training for the Singaporeans in Australia.

The Airways Corporation, which is responsible for managing air traffic within New Zealand, says that if the deal goes ahead it would stimulate growth in the industry and could create more jobs.
Minister hopes for deal in next three months

Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee says the two countries already train together and the Singaporean army uses New Zealand's bases. He says he hopes a deal will be struck in the first quarter of this year.

"We do have some facilities here that would make that a possibility," Mr Brownlee says, "and I think that would be very good for the New Zealand air force as well as for the strengthening of our defence relationships."

Radio New Zealand understands that the Ohakea air force base in Manawatu is being considered as the main training base, with a back-up runway at Whenuapai in west Auckland.

The potential deal is being welcomed by Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor, who says the Defence Force is a major contributor to the Manawatu region, and by Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey, who says involving Whenuapai in the deal has the potential to benefit greater Auckland.
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Old January 14th, 2010   #903
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RED CHECKERS - Fatal Crash today

Unfortunately today, the RNZAF suffered its 1st fatality in The Red Checkers Aerobatics team.

SQN LDR Nick Cree died early his morning when his CT-4E hit the ground 18KM west of Bulls.

Pilot dies in air force plane crash - national | Stuff.co.nz


The Red Checkers do amazing things with the CT-4's ... and if you have ever seen them in action you will know what I mean.

Here's a couple of images of the Red Checkers when they flew CT-4Bs (150 hp as opposed to 300 hp in the CT-4Es).

http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/...ers_-_CT4B.jpg

http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/...ir_Trainer.jpg
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Old February 16th, 2010   #904
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There are still a few software issues to iron out. The first C-130 - the original prototype for the upgrade sent Statesides in 2005 is back at WB - however not completed and SAFE are working through other parts of the upgrade until that is sorted. The second aircraft sent is now the prototype. Panic has not set in ... yet.
Panic over the C-130 is now setting in.

Air New Zealand engineering subsidiary Safe Air in Blenheim is planning to cut 100 jobs from its workforce, after delays in a contract to refurbish Air Force Hercules aircraft.

This was as a result of more than 18 months of delays in the delivery of Royal New Zealand Air Force C130 aircraft for major upgrade work under a contract with Canadian company, SPAR Aerospace.

SPAR, the lead contractor in the C130 overhaul programme, told Safe Air of an indefinite postponement to the programme in December last year.

Air NZ to cut 100 jobs after Hercules refit delay - Defence - NZ Herald News

Its seems that the software issues cannot be sorted and the phrase "an indefinite postponement to the programme" would be the last thing a defence minister with only 12 months into his job would want to hear especially when it is on top of the raft of other headaches he has inherited.

Looks like we are back to 2002 again.....
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Old February 16th, 2010   #905
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Just to elaborate more on the reported issue, from Radio New Zealand News : Stories : 2010 : 02 : 16 : Defence contract problems cost 100 Safe Air jobs

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The first of two Hercules were sent to Texas in 2005 for upgrade work, but computer software problems affecting flight management and auto-pilot systems are taking months to solve.

SPAR notified Safe Air of an indefinite postponement to the programme on 21 December 2009, Air New Zealand said in a statement. There had been delays in the delivery of the Hercules for major upgrade work.
At least it appears the structural refurbishments (eg centre wing replacement) were successful (i.e. no reported problems)?

But if the computer software problems are the main issue, and the fact that the term "indefinite postponment" has been used, does this mean they cannot be solved? Or at least let's hope this doesn't turn into the Aussie Seasprite saga requiring lots of additonal expenditure and further delays. Let's hope the Govt has a Plan B (eg lease additional aircraft).

In other good news the first A109LUH has had its maiden flight, with deliveres scheduled for end of year. Beehive - RNZAF's new helicopter makes its first flight
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Old February 17th, 2010   #906
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Looks like we are back to 2002 again.....
Ahhh, the halcyon days of 2002 ... here's a What If scenario if the change of Govt hadn't occured in 1999 (or 2002) for a bit of fun

2002 saw the RNZAF's proposal to purchase 8x C130J's approved by Cabinet. (After watching the earlier teething troubles experienced by other early J adopters, the RNZAF introduction into service was relatively smooth in comparison)! RNZAF able to support multiple govt taskings asked of it etc.

Also: Increased operational tempos overseas saw earlier discussions between NZ and AUS Govts on forming a joint ANZAC force. As a result a joint heavy lift air squadron was formed, Australia ordered 4 C17's, NZ ordered one as its contribution and Australia also took up an option for a 5th aircraft thus providing 6 aircraft in total.

Also: As a result of the successful introduction into RNZAF service of the F16, and with a growing economy in the early to late 2000's, the RNZAF took up the option offered part way thru the lease of updating its avionics, ECM's and stand off delivery systems etc, to ensure full coalition interoperability....

Increased operational tempos (esp with the RAAF F18 force and increased RAN/RNZN Frigate deployments) saw RNZAF 2 Sqn (F16B) at Norwa expand by gaining some of the 6 attrition F16B airframes (28 were to be bought with 6 retained as attrition frames). With increased F16 numbers, 2 Sqn able to maintain OCU status and also periodically deploy a flight of 3 aircraft to the Northern Territory for further anti-shipping training and exercises with the RAN Armidale patrol fleet....

With potential delays in the RAAF acquiring F35's and the decision to purchase some interim F18G's, the Australian and NZ Govts announced as a further strengthening of the ANZAC relationship, plus as a signal to other nations of "interest", that a flight of 6 RNZAF 75 Sqn F16's would be based in Australia, for operational and training purposes....

As for the Navy, after the 1990's Asian financial crisis ending and the economy improving a third ANZAC Frigate was acquired (HMAS ANZAC, and the Tenix yard rolled off one additional Frigate for the RAN to replace HMAS ANZAC). With the economy on the mend in the mid 2000's and as a result of increased RNZN presence in the Gulf as part of Operation EF, the RNZN were given approval to acquire a 4th Frigate second hand (a surplus RN T23 at the time)....

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Old February 17th, 2010   #907
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Very disappointing about the Herc software problems...though not unusual for these sort of legacy IT integration issues. What strikes me is that NZ has had three successful upgrade projects to date (Kahu, P-3 rewinging, 757 modifications), so clearly there is in-house RNZAF expertise in managing such compex projects. What was the risk that bit us here? Was it simply an issue of the contractor?

I understand that initial thinking was NZ would piggy-back on a proposed USA upgrade of their Herc fleet - which did not eventuate, so NZ was stuck being the 'launch customer' for such an ambitious project. BUT - the P3 upgrade seems to be on track, involving even more complex IT integration (sensor suite, Tacrail, commo) - which strongly implies that the contractor is to blame for the current Herc debacle.

So what are the options? Sue the contractor, shift work to some other company, lease additional C-130s....or scrap the whole thing and proceed directly to purchasing C-130Js?
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Old February 17th, 2010   #908
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Reading between the lines the primary problem seems to be that the contractor Spar Aerospace lost their major Canadian CC130 refurbishment contracts just after the first RNZAF C130H was despatched to Edmunton, Canada for the upgrades. As a result Spar had been winding down and last year parent company L3 announced the closure of Spar's maintenance facility at Edmunton. Looks like a case of extreme back luck & timing for NZ, not so a case of NZ project management incompetance....? Other than that, publically, it appears the C130H upgrades went well apart from this software issue. Presumably until the issue is resolved the two upgraded C130H's won't be certified....?

As for NZ originally piggy backing on proposed US upgrades, perhaps if that were the case and happened then possibly NZ wouldn't be in this position?

There's a lot of chatter on this topic over at wings over nz aviation forum - not allowed to post links to other forums here so google it and search around until you find the thread.
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Old February 21st, 2010   #909
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Dr Bassett was a Cabinet Minister in the Lange Govt at the time of the breakdown and squarely puts the blame on NZ. One of the few who were troubled over the anti-US direction some in the Cabinet took.

Dr Michael Bassett

Dr Michael Bassett

These are very insightful pieces that examine the issue of the ANZUS breakdown.
Interesting read. I have known all along the ANZUS breakdown had more to do with internal New Zealand politics than any failed US foreign policy by either US political party. The blame entirely lies with New Zealand....
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Old February 21st, 2010   #910
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Interesting read. I have known all along the ANZUS breakdown had more to do with internal New Zealand politics than any failed US foreign policy by either US political party. The blame entirely lies with New Zealand....
Yes it did portray PM Lange to have put his head in the sand and hoped it would all go away,
But he did make a deal with Shultz and should of stuck to his gun or resigned.
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Old February 21st, 2010   #911
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Interesting read. I have known all along the ANZUS breakdown had more to do with internal New Zealand politics than any failed US foreign policy by either US political party. The blame entirely lies with New Zealand....
Absolutely Toby. It was a real low point in this country history and we are only now pulling out of it. It was a shame that not enough normalisation happened in the late 1990's when there started to be a softening on each others positions over defence. But, hey it is now back on track.
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Old February 21st, 2010   #912
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Absolutely Toby. It was a real low point in this country history and we are only now pulling out of it. It was a shame that not enough normalisation happened in the late 1990's when there started to be a softening on each others positions over defence. But, hey it is now back on track.
I understand that one of the levers that may have helped NZ get back onto the road of US consideration was the decision of the 1990's National government to select the US-made Seasprite naval helicopter, to replace the old Wasps. Gave a signal that NZ still saw the US as a key defence partner - of course National was making all sorts of similar signals at the time (the nuclear ship safety commission, and Jim Bolger trampling over plants to be photographed walking next to Bill Clinton!) Need to bear in mind that the helicopter purchase was the only major defence purchase actually made by NZ in the 1990s (the Anzac frigates were a late-1980s decision), and was closely watched in Canberra.

Commonality with Australia's (comparatively ill-fated) decision to buy refurb'd Seasprites was a key factor, but an unmentioned consideration was also commonality with the existing missiles used by the A-4 fleet. NZ's only PGM was (and is) the Maverick, which was cleared for use by the A-4 and the new SH-2G. The Lynx was - at the time - only cleared to fire the British Sea Skua missile. While combat-proven in the Falkands and the Gulf, this would have been a wholly new item of ordnance for the RNZAF/RNZN, and has a key limitation in that it is only radar-guided - so optimised for anti-shipping missions. By comparison, the Maverick can be used against naval or ground targets by day and night, and so was a more flexible system. So the helicopter purchase decision did not also involve investing in a new missile, a further point in favor of selecting the SH-2G.
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Old February 21st, 2010   #913
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I understand that one of the levers that may have helped NZ get back onto the road of US consideration was the decision of the 1990's National government to select the US-made Seasprite naval helicopter, to replace the old Wasps. Gave a signal that NZ still saw the US as a key defence partner - of course National was making all sorts of similar signals at the time (the nuclear ship safety commission, and Jim Bolger trampling over plants to be photographed walking next to Bill Clinton!) Need to bear in mind that the helicopter purchase was the only major defence purchase actually made by NZ in the 1990s (the Anzac frigates were a late-1980s decision), and was closely watched in Canberra.

Commonality with Australia's (comparatively ill-fated) decision to buy refurb'd Seasprites was a key factor, but an unmentioned consideration was also commonality with the existing missiles used by the A-4 fleet. NZ's only PGM was (and is) the Maverick, which was cleared for use by the A-4 and the new SH-2G. The Lynx was - at the time - only cleared to fire the British Sea Skua missile. While combat-proven in the Falkands and the Gulf, this would have been a wholly new item of ordnance for the RNZAF/RNZN, and has a key limitation in that it is only radar-guided - so optimised for anti-shipping missions. By comparison, the Maverick can be used against naval or ground targets by day and night, and so was a more flexible system. So the helicopter purchase decision did not also involve investing in a new missile, a further point in favor of selecting the SH-2G.
Yes those things mentioned are indeed factors and that the National Party of the 1990’s was a fickle beast and particularly fickle when it came to Defence Spending. They did wipe out effectively 40% of the defence budget in real GDP terms between 1991-1996 so the ‘signals’ we were trying to send were still a bit flaky. It was not until the release of the 97 White Paper and a committing to retain a credible force component per the F-16’s in December of 1998 that endeavours were ramped up by both sides and we were once considered by the US with a bit more credibility and reliability. Which, obviously went all pear-shaped when the thrust of the 97 White paper was reversed in 2000 and then spending flat-lined under the in-coming government lead by individuals who were significant players in the ANZUS split in the first place.
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Old February 22nd, 2010   #914
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Interesting read. I have known all along the ANZUS breakdown had more to do with internal New Zealand politics than any failed US foreign policy by either US political party. The blame entirely lies with New Zealand....
It was a very interesting article. I recall when it parts of it first appeared in the media in 2003, the media asked former PM Lange for comment. Lange dismissed it and played everything down, however in IMO at the time Lange's response was hollow and lacked credibility, and was worthy of dismissal as being from someone being caught and then fibbing their way out of (previous) trouble etc. On the other side of the coin the article author, Mr Bassett, fell out with Lange back in the late 80's (as more or less expressed in the article) hence in terms of fairness and balance, one needs to consider whether the article had a personal hidden agenda etc, after all Bassett didn't interview Lange for the article (although he did interview a wide range of NZ and US officials). Having put that thought out there I answer myself with the following; Bassett was also a political historian who has written many well researched and respected books on NZ's leading politcal figures; he was in Cabinet at the time (84-90) and had personal insights into events of the time and he kept notes; his article was written when he was Fulbright professor of New Zealand studies at Georgetown University in 2002; numerous leading US/NZ figures at the time were interviewed for his article .... hence I think it was be fair to conclude that the article was a fairly accurate assesment of (his version of) events in the Lange administration at the time. I say all this because of two reasons, some NZer's here may recall Lange and Clark's dismisal of the article at the time (2003) and the subsequent beat up in 2005 thanks to a prominent peace activist's book on the working of the National Party, which resulted in the Dominion Post newspaper's cowardly decision to cease publishing his articles because of perceived politcal bias (although they don't have a problem with other contentious left and right authors etc).

So it is a good article and explains the inner politcal workings that wrecked an important relationship. What might not be understood by many (esp overseas) is the "why" question i.e. why did the "insurgents" (as Bassett called them) do this? The answer is long and political hence it is not appropriate to comment further upon here this except to say that the "insurgents" were from that 1960's University educated generation (entirely "white" and mostly "middle class" - BTW Clark is from conservative farming stock), questioning the Western values and foreign policy, esp US etc. Most of you will get the picture...

So Sea Toby, I agree with you in that the "ANZUS breakdown had more to do with internal New Zealand politics than any failed US foreign policy by either US political party".

However I take odds with your next assertion "The blame entirely lies with New Zealand....".

The reason I say that is because life is not black and white, but many shades of grey (or gray to you fellas)! IMO the both sides (US and NZ) were not blame free, both sides share the blame for their miscalcuations, in fact what is not being questioned (thus far) is the obvious (or perceived) miscalculation (or perceived intelligence failures or more likely political interference) of the US Govt.

Sure, Lange failed Shultz bigtime by not sticking to his word and trying to resolve the issue behind the scenes... Lange's credibility and judgement was found to be severly lacking - quite rightly the US Govt was upset.

The article explains why that happened (and any credible intelligence agency would have been aware of the rise of the "insurgent" group forming in the Labour ranks in the 70's/80's. it was pretty obvious in day-to-day life here)....

So despite the best efforts of then CDF Jamieson to find a satisfactory way foward for both sides (eg the USS Buchanan visit), once the Buchanan was rejected, it seems to me things started to turn feral. The rest is history as they say...

But let's analyse things, from that point onwards, in a different way, for it didn't need to end like that....

1. It has been written about elsewhere that Lange wanted a bit more time to resolve the issue with his Party (which was infighting). It has been written by others that if this issue had been postponed for a few more months (i.e. after it was found that Lange was lacking in early 85) then once his Cabinet allies were fully in the picture, then a counter attack against the "insurgents" could have commenced (instead as the article explained his Cabinet allies then realised they had already lost the battle and went into damage control mode). Although whether Lange would go thru - who knows - and clearly the US Govt lost patience.

2. Although I respected the efforts of CDF Jamieson and the US/NZ officials to bring the Buchanan in, and had been dismissive of the then next attempt to bring in a non-nuclear capable FFG7 instead of the Buchanan , in my later life I have been rethinking this....

It seems the "insugents" (and peace groups) found the FFG7 acceptable, and it was a known fact that Lange did not want the ANZUS alliance to collapse. Granted US/NZ Foreign Policy shouldn't be dictated by these groupings, but the fact appears to be, if the US then agreed to the FFG7 visit proposal instead, ANZUS relations would probably have continued whilst Lange and his allies had time to sort things out (as I suspect the "insurgents" probably would have moved on from the ANZUS issue if a FFG7 had visited i.e. they were not primarily anti-ANZUS, they were pro- establishing their causes such as social justice and womens empowerment, not simply anti-US). A bit of face could have been saved by all sides - "insurgents" included.

(As an aside in the early 80's the RNZN publically stated on many occassions that they wanted to replace their two Rothesay Frigates with initially the Dutch Kortenaer and when that didn't eventuate, the Oliver Hazard Perry FFG7 class that the RAN were about to acquire. If the US were smart they could have accepted the FFG7 visit as a potential sales and marketing pitch) ...

3. The end result was simply cutting of miltary and intelligence ties with NZ. The US's reasons why were clear, but the result, if you think about it, is rather perverse, in essence ties were cut with the NZ military, the very institution that wanted to preserve ties....

The only logical explanation was that it was to show other nations, such as Japan seeing they have had (and still have) issues with the US military forces based there i.e. "if you Japan go anti-nuclear like NZ, then we will cease to protect you". I can understand that thought, except that the signal sent, in that NZ was punished as a tactic to keep Japan in line, really seems to demonstrate that NZ (military) is a token irrelevence in the Western security apparatus and gives NZ peaceniks the opportunty to further say "see, why spend billions on useless Frigates, fighter planes and guns etc, when in fact they aren't needed". So which is it, shoulld NZ play its (small) part in collective defence, or simply cut its armed forces and spend it on civil defence and a coast guard because it is irrelevant in the wider scheme?

4. The end result was a victory to the "insurgents"! (I don't like using that word, but it neatly sums up the situation in one quick and simple word). As a result the "insurgents" put their people in power throughout the 80's/90's finally resulting in becoming the 1999 Govt (as the public tired of the then incumbent coalition Govt). Without there being an ANZUS Council meeting anymore, the US lost its direct ability to influence NZ defence posture and orientation. Eg for if NZ were still in ANZUS in 1999-2001, even with the change of Govt, you can be sure that the RNZAF would not have had its ACF cut, nor would have had the F16 deal cancelled. I say that because Clark, despite her social democrat leanings, is rather conservative in nature, and can be pragmatic. The last thing she would have wanted was a public war of words with the then Clinton adminstration (it would have been ok with she had a proxy eg Lange back in the day, but Clark is not always wishing to be publically confrontational - she is a backroom plotter and has other proxies carry out the axe whringing so her carefully crafted public image does not suffer), of who Labour and the Democrats have a reasonably good (albiet small) working relationship (it was exposed two years ago that Labour and the Dems had some electioneering campain relationship). Clark after all, once it could be demostrated that they were needed, after all sent in the SAS, Frigates and Orions into the Gulf as part of OpEF - perhaps if we still had an ACF, an occassional flight could have been sent over with the RAAF, in order to relieve deployment stress on the NZ Army...

So things could have been handled differently, in the meatime so much time has been lost whilst new generations of NZ people wonder why warships from the 5 main nuclear powers visit except the US. These people then start wondering why the US "has a problem" and those peaceniks are free to exploit this apparent mistrust.

If the US really wanted to win the ANZUS battle of the 1980's it should have threatened trade sanctions (they weren't affected - only defence). The Lange administration (and "insurgents") would have back peddled rather quickly.

Interesting that some of the US hawks that quickly lost patience with NZ in the 80's went on to support the PNAC concept and invade Iraq. Their mishandling of Iraq (by dis-establishing orderly life in Iraq) makes me question their competence handling the NZ issue of the 1980's......
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Old February 25th, 2010   #915
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RNZAF NH-90s: Criticism from Germany

Found this interesting article on Bundeswehr experience of the NH-90; direct implications for NZ, given our troops would need to use the helo to transport Javelin and Mistral systems[/quote]


RNZAF NH-90s: Criticism from Germany
Found this interesting article on Bundeswehr experience of the NH-90; direct implications for NZ, given our troops would need to use the helo to transport Javelin and Mistral systems


German Army Report Highlights NH90 Deficiencies
By THOMAS NEWDICK, BERLIN
Published: 24 Feb 2010 11:27 Print | Email
An internal German Army report has provided a damning assessment of the German military's new NHIndustries NH90 multi-purpose helicopter. The 103-page document assesses the helicopter's current operational capability as extremely limited, and highlights a range of deficiencies. Compiled by the Luftlande- und Lufttransportschule (Airborne and Air Transport School), the report recommends using alternative aircraft whenever possible in an operational scenario.

Key problems outlined by the military include excessively limited ground clearance that prohibits soldiers' entry and exit except when on hard surfaces that are free of obstacles greater than 16 centimeters. Within the cabin, the seats are considered capable of accommodating only soldiers who weigh less than 110 kilograms with their gear. The German Army's latest Infantrie der Zukunft (Future Soldier) personal equipment weighs 25 kilos.

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Limited internal dimensions mean that an infantry team can be carried only if team members leave their personal weapons and kit on the floor, where the items cannot be secured. The floor has proven so sensitive that it can be damaged by dirty boots, and the rear ramp is unable to support fully equipped soldiers, limiting its use for rapid entry and disembarkation.

Heavier infantry weapons, such as the Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missile and MILAN anti-armor missile, cannot currently be transported, since strap-down attachments are not provided. The transport of combined loads of troops and cargo is also prohibited.

The limited cabin space means there is no defensive machine gun and door-gunner.

The helicopter's winch is not powerful enough for the fast-roping of commando teams or boarding parties. The NH90 is also unable to deliver paratroops using automatic release, the report states.

German Orders for NH90s

The German military has placed orders worth around 4.6 billion euros ($6.2 billion) for 122 NH90s, which are to be used by both the German Army and Luftwaffe. A modified version earmarked for the German Navy has suffered from delays and technical difficulties. A firm order for this MH90 variant has yet to be placed. The latest order of June 2007 added a further 42 helicopters (30 for the Army and 12 for the Luftwaffe) to the previous 80-aircraft order placed in June 2000. The 12 latest Luftwaffe aircraft were to be provided with eight kits for combat-search-and-rescue (CSAR) duties.

These were to incorporate armor protection, in-flight refueling capability, improved countermeasures and defensive weapons. The CSAR modification was abandoned in 2008 as impracticable.

The German Army became the first recipient of the production NH90, accepting three aircraft in December 2006. Initial aircraft are currently used for training with the Army Air Corps Weapons School at Bückeburg.

NHIndustries did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Last edited by Aussie Digger; February 28th, 2010 at 08:47 AM.
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