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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 Sea Toby I still believe Brazil's Embraer KC-390 could be the better aircraft replacing the venerable C-130 ...


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Old June 13th, 2010   #976
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I still believe Brazil's Embraer KC-390 could be the better aircraft replacing the venerable C-130 Hercules. if Brazil can produce them at half the price Lockheed can build Hercs, buying them would be a no brainer. Similar cargo lift, similar short take offs and landings, similar tanking capacity, and much more speed at half the price.... Since New Zealand has forgone the ASW upgrades for the Orions, the KC-390 will probably be as good at ocean surveillance as well...

One aircraft doing three tasks better and quicker than the two aircraft they use currently... At half the price.... Go for it.... Considering New Zealand's most likely trade of a number of NZLAVs for American Strykers, the Strykers can be airlifted by the KC 390s... True, the NZLAVs can't be airlifted by the KC-390s but the Canterbury is more than able to ship them...

There is no need to copy Australia, there is no need to buy more expensive P-8 Poseidons, there is no need to buy more expensive and slower new C-130s. Buy more economical to operate KC-390s...
http://www.airforce-technology.com/p...0-hercules.jpg

KC 390 is an impressive aircraft being half the price of a C130J and being capable of most operations currently achieved by the Hercules, but it appears Embraer is having technical problems that from Embraer own CEO say “ not a realistic aircraft and could not fulfil the mission”, more studies definition study were going to take place. They were talking about first flight in 2012 but this article being over twelve months old i do not know where the program is up too.

Embraer Launches KC-390 Tanker/Transport

I guess it all depends on when the current fleet of C130 aircraft are to be replaced (2017 according to one article) with the upgraded taking place not long ago the stars just might align for the replacement aircraft and if Embraer can sort out the problems.

Upgraded RNZAF C-130 Flying
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Old June 14th, 2010   #977
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Due to financial constraints I find it very difficult to beleive we would splash out on C-17s to augment the current hercs as we should replace them first and I even doubt we would get new J models the way this governments pulling on the purse strings, they're still clinging to the LEP dream, hope for credibilities sake it works out.
I would also doubt they would go for another unproven A/C type depending on how the
NH90s come through for us as you can only get so much egg off your face.
As for these ACF re-generation notions, I think we have more pressing problems that would need to be sorted long before we even entertain the idea of a fast jet return- new helo(s) introduction and bedding, C130 modding (or replacing), Q300/CN235??? transport/trainers, orions and maritime patrol all need to be sorted (and properly). And this is just the air forces problems, we still have issues within army and navy that need addressing.
Until BP plugs that hole and forces the oil to pop up off the east coast, a huge mineral deposit is found under some of our most picteresque scenery or we have the worlds biggest sausage sizzle then there will just not be enough peanuts to share around. We don't just want to throw funds around and go back to having a force that looked good on paper tasking and equipment wise if all those tasks are realistically not used or usable and equipment generally obsolete, stick to something we do good and can add purposefully to a coalition and fund and equip properly first time round, no more stretching short cuts to make the ends meet.

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Old June 14th, 2010   #978
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C130 fire fighting capability,
Factsheets : Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System

C130 Hercules, Jack of all trades but a master of none.
Quite interesting what the old Hercules can do, i wonder if A400M will ever get to be like the old Hercules time will tell.
I think that is something more likely to come out of an Airbus marketing release, than a realistic comment on the venerable Herc. It has been doing it's thing better than anything else for over 50 years now, credit where credit is due...

C-130 is more like a jack of all airlift trades and master of all...
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Old June 14th, 2010   #979
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Due to financial constraints I find it very difficult to beleive we would splash out on C-17s to augment the current hercs as we should replace them first and I even doubt we would get new J models the way this governments pulling on the purse strings, they're still clinging to the LEP dream, hope for credibilities sake it works out.
I would also doubt they would go for another unproven A/C type depending on how the
NH90s come through for us as you can only get so much egg off your face.
As for these ACF re-generation notions, I think we have more pressing problems that would need to be sorted long before we even entertain the idea of a fast jet return- new helo(s) introduction and bedding, C130 modding (or replacing), Q300/CN235??? transport/trainers, orions and maritime patrol all need to be sorted (and properly). And this is just the air forces problems, we still have issues within army and navy that need addressing.
... We don't just want to throw funds around and go back to having a force that looked good on paper tasking and equipment wise if all those tasks are realistically not used or usable and equipment generally obsolete, stick to something we do good and can add purposefully to a coalition and fund and equip properly first time round, no more stretching short cuts to make the ends meet.
NZ is at a turn in the road where despite fiscal constraints, the government will have to dole out real money just to keep the current capabilities. There is a lot of evidence that the current capabilities are not sustainable in the sense of MFA policy outputs let alone outcomes. Policy failure of tactical and strategic airlift is potentially quite visible and embarrassing, if there is a Pacific environmental disaster that NZ is unable to respond to or a Herc disappears en route to the Ice.

For that reason, I would anticipate that the Kiwi govt will bite the bullet and invest. Whether this precludes a reactivation of the ACF is another matter. If the govt wants a stand alone airlift capability it will go for a single type of A/C at a time, and if 2017 is the procurement horizon then there is very little time to acquire- suggesting a mature tech A/C.

My personal preference would be for 2x C-17 attached to the RAAF, and 6x KC390, BUT THAT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.

We are looking at probably 4x C130J eventually (2020) and maybe 4x C295 to plug gaps quickly. Inshallah, the govt won't do something crazy (AKA think outside the box) and try to acquire 2nd hand C130Hs or Antonovs (don't snigger- I used to work at the Treasury).
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Old June 14th, 2010   #980
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As stated C-17's were simply a personal opinion, they're the only aircraft capable of airlifting any current and future NZDF pieces-of-kit to staging posts in Northern Australia (and thus onto Timor or beyond) eg LAV's, new recovery support vehicles, NH90's, etc (and how about future containers - eg pre-fitted command and control or mobile hospital etc - it's about time the NZDF were "wired" up and ready to go ... rather than use tents and boxes (i.e. the time to unpack and establish operational readiness etc). Could also be A400's, once publically toted by the NZDF but not so much nowadays. Whatever it may finally be, C130J included, the money will be found for capital expenditure - that's a different game in which the pollies get to sit at the big tables, and trade deals discussed etc. The ongoing operating costs will be the key (and could thus rule out the likes of the C-17 just looking at the comments on the RAAF thread recently), even the LEP Hercs operating costs (with legacy engines and poor fuel economy compared to the J, will hopefully see them retire around 2020 if not sooner depending on replacement timing (and hopefully not see any second hand H's bought etc).

As for ACF, I'm not saying ACF (that's either long term or never again), I'm saying "training" to prepare the 3 services for their deployments and other (so yes, we can put aside F/A-18 HUG's, F/A-18F's, Grippens) .... if the Govt does agree to this (it's being mooted) then the options in the interim (i.e. under present budgetary environment) would be using existing aircraft that are in storage eg Macchis. But also a wild card in the medium term could potentially be LM and their TA50 or F16 depending on what external events kick into play. Or of course no more jets once and for all, the pollies prefered choice, but that depends on how well Defence make the case. I'm being postive on this last comment - 10 years on Defence is thinking "jointly", the Navy knows (always knew anyway) what it is "missing" (as they have always inter-operated with allies and fast jets) and the Army, thanks to A-stan, now realise the importance of what was lost. I'd say for the Army, their future is already here, and they are in amongst it - non-state-on-state/irregular conflict, concerted international/coalition efforts and air-power backing it up. They need to communicate with their coalition partners/air power ... or else not bother turning up for the gig and stay at home or peace-keep the Pacific - somehow I doubt Army only want the latter!!!

In the short term, the other likely RNZAF acquisition could be the short-medium range transport/patrol, and there's been speculation on more A109 type helos (which has to be a given due to the number already bought - 5 verses the various roles expected of them, cheaper to operate than NH90's so at a guess this makes Treasury happy. UAV's will be the interesting development to watch.

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Old June 14th, 2010   #981
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I still believe Brazil's Embraer KC-390 could be the better aircraft replacing the venerable C-130 Hercules. if Brazil can produce them at half the price Lockheed can build Hercs, buying them would be a no brainer. Similar cargo lift, similar short take offs and landings, similar tanking capacity, and much more speed at half the price.... Since New Zealand has forgone the ASW upgrades for the Orions, the KC-390 will probably be as good at ocean surveillance as well...

One aircraft doing three tasks better and quicker than the two aircraft they use currently... At half the price.... Go for it.... Considering New Zealand's most likely trade of a number of NZLAVs for American Strykers, the Strykers can be airlifted by the KC 390s... True, the NZLAVs can't be airlifted by the KC-390s but the Canterbury is more than able to ship them...

There is no need to copy Australia, there is no need to buy more expensive P-8 Poseidons, there is no need to buy more expensive and slower new C-130s. Buy more economical to operate KC-390s...
http://www.airforce-technology.com/p...0-hercules.jpg
Good to see that you haven't stopped plugging the old KC-390 there Toby.

They will go with Lockheed it is simple as that. Its political.
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Old June 14th, 2010   #982
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The short term plans resulting from the DWP10 due in September regarding the RNZAF will be interesting. By short term I am saying between now and 2015. There are are 3 relatively cheap projects which could be done that would transform the RNZAF capability and provide much better defence contibution.

We will have a better idea of what is envisaged regarding the light tactical lift / coastal patrol aircraft. The DefMin has reported to the media that the CN-235 or the Q300 are being looked at. Of course if it is the Q300 - the cheaper of the two options we know that it is likely that airframes, a simulator, engineering support that can be sourced from Air NZ fleet, which are soon moving over to the Q400 for the inter-provincial flights. One thing is that a enlarged rear cargo door would I assume need to be installed. That can be done locally. The CN-235 is far more capable as we know and would love, however the Q300 does has certain cost advantages and synergies. Treasury, would see the Q300 as more favourable I'm sure as the CN-235 is not cheap. Four CN-235's would be close on NZ200m. To be honest if they in the end plumb for the Q300 I would not have a tanty. It would be quite acceptable and would be a damn sight better than zip. You would be able to get around 10 ex Air NZ Q300's for that money.

Second thing is the A-109LUH second tranche. Only 5 and a simulator bought under Phil Goffs watch as DefMin. There was as we know going to be first 8, then 6 and then just 5 as the NH-90 blowout spooks the Labour Cabinet just as their fairies in the bottom of the garden approach to fiscal management started to look sour. I hope they lift the order back to the 8 airframes that they needed. As a project a second tranche of three LUH's would be around the NZ$60m mark.

Lastly, back to the Macchi's. It is looking more unlikely as time goes on that the continuing saga of their ''sale' will eventuate - along with the A-4's. This is going to be a constant headache. The return of the Macchi's have some vocal support from sections of the National and Act Parties membership, I have known a number of individuals and groups within the Tory's who have put in policy remits over the last 5 years. The pressure will be there to do something regarding the aircraft operationally whilst they remain unsold is still strong. There is also pressure from the former RNZAF crowd and unofficially within the organisation itself in wanting to get them back in the air as well. Also there is a greater maturity within the public than 10-15 years ago regarding defence. Such a move is unlikely to cause political heartburn. I'd take the calculation that it would be politically more astute to do it than not do it.

Now we have the summaries of the public submissions for DWP10 and a strong call for an ACF to be back. I cannot see a fully fledged ACF back anytime soon, however I can see that some Machhi's maybe back. As they are they cannot do any of the roles in which they are capable of. They are no good as advanced trainers at present because they are non-glass cockpit models. They also lack the respective avionics to be useful for simulated maritime strike or to provide precision close air support simulation. Also the Mk680-43 Viper had reliability issues and would need to be detuned. None of those problems are insurrmountable as we know that the Batch II upgrades undertaken by Aermacchi pretty much solve all of that. Also factor in that Safe Air owned by Air NZ (who in turn is owned largely by the taxpayer, is looking for work with its highly skilled aircraft engineers who want local jobs) and is coming under greater control of the Government. Safe Air are capable of doing a Batch II type upgrade using COTS parts. Based on the Italian costings upgraded Macchis' per unit would be around the NZ$5m mark with a detuned engine more if they replace the 680-43 with a newer more developed powerplant.

We also have the outstanding issue of the current advanced training. In recent years the B200's which were the multi-engine trainer now also do the Advanced Training role. Not entirely successfiully in some aspects. There is also the issue of training experience using turbine engines, which was never an issue in the past. It is now an issue in that all the operational aircraft both fixed wing and rotary will now be turbine. So the leap from 42Sqd B200's over to 40th Sqd has been quite a jump. One of the reasons why there is some support for bringing back the Macchi is that it covers the propulsion / conversion gap. This is a relatively unique set of circumstances that larger air forces would not have to consider or realise is a problem. It is not to say that the RNZAF does not turn out great pilots but the breadth of experience is longer to achieve than it was. Finally we have the DefMin actually listening to the service personnel who have told him where the gaps are. We all know where they are so I wont go over them.

So it seems that if logic does prevail, then maybe we could see upgraded Macchi's back flying again and doing the advanced training role as well as the wider NZDF air support training for the the NZDF. (Incidently the Batch II Machi's can carry the Marte A/ShpM, the Mav and AIM-9, and can take two 30mm under cannon pods and a recon pod too boot - so that could be a wee bonus).

In some ways it is a real test for the government - if they really want to walk the talk in my view they need to have these three small projects up and running! If a NZ$200m budget allocation was put in place over 5 years you could could have around 3 109's, 8 Macchi II's and 5 Q300's. If NZ$300m over 5 years was stumped up for then you'd be looking at 4 CN-235's, 3 LUH's and 8 Macchi II's. I'd say the savings due to less inappropriate use of the NH-90's, C-130's and the P-32K's over that time and their potential longer service lives following their upgrades by not being thrashed would make it go along way in being revenue neutral as well broadening the total defence forces outputs and capability.

PS: Recce - I posted this before I read your post - I think we have covered pretty much many of the same points. Cheers

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Old June 17th, 2010   #983
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In the latest edition of Flight International (June 17) the DefMin Dr Wayne Mapp states that the RNZAF will look to initially purchase 3 light transport / maritime patrol aircraft. As what has been suggested here on Deftalk a number of times it is likely to be either the Q300 or the CN-235.

So that is one of the projects mentioned above by Recce and myself sorted out. In the article he uses the term "initially" so that means a second tranche is possible at a later date. Good!

This raises a couple of questions:

Firstly with the problems over the C-130H upgrade causing mayhem surrounding the RNZAF tactical lift capability could it be the CN-235 is a way of providing a stop-gap capability to cover the huge overtasking gap in the meantime?

Secondly will just three aircraft for the advanced training role be enough? It would be enough for multi-engine conversion but the current 5 B-200's used for that and the AFT role are in high frequency use. Could it mean (reading the tea leaves here) that they may dust off the stored MB-339C's upgrade them to Batch II and have them do the RNZAF advanced training duties and also provide the other services with air support training?

Thirdly, will a CN-235 with a VIP module for the prime minister and Governor General be enough or from now own will they abandon the VIP role from 42 Sqd and hand it over to the A-109's over at 3 Sqd. Looking at the topography of NZ it makes better sense to use a modern helicopter than a fixed wing aircraft. Remember that there are only 40 tarmac airports in NZ and many of them are very pushed to take a B1900 let alone a Q300. A modern twin engined helicopter would be cheaper and possibly more flexible and quicker. Dr Mapp has stated publicly when we got the A-109's that the 5 Phil Goff ordered were not enough. Could that even mean that the RNZAF will get the eight A-109's it needs - with an extra role as domestic VIP transport?

If that all pans out. It would be very pleasing.
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Old June 18th, 2010   #984
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In the latest edition of Flight International (June 17) the DefMin Dr Wayne Mapp states that the RNZAF will look to initially purchase 3 light transport / maritime patrol aircraft. As what has been suggested here on Deftalk a number of times it is likely to be either the Q300 or the CN-235.

So that is one of the projects mentioned above by Recce and myself sorted out. In the article he uses the term "initially" so that means a second tranche is possible at a later date. Good!

This raises a couple of questions:

Firstly with the problems over the C-130H upgrade causing mayhem surrounding the RNZAF tactical lift capability could it be the CN-235 is a way of providing a stop-gap capability to cover the huge overtasking gap in the meantime?

Secondly will just three aircraft for the advanced training role be enough? It would be enough for multi-engine conversion but the current 5 B-200's used for that and the AFT role are in high frequency use. Could it mean (reading the tea leaves here) that they may dust off the stored MB-339C's upgrade them to Batch II and have them do the RNZAF advanced training duties and also provide the other services with air support training?

Thirdly, will a CN-235 with a VIP module for the prime minister and Governor General be enough or from now own will they abandon the VIP role from 42 Sqd and hand it over to the A-109's over at 3 Sqd. Looking at the topography of NZ it makes better sense to use a modern helicopter than a fixed wing aircraft. Remember that there are only 40 tarmac airports in NZ and many of them are very pushed to take a B1900 let alone a Q300. A modern twin engined helicopter would be cheaper and possibly more flexible and quicker. Dr Mapp has stated publicly when we got the A-109's that the 5 Phil Goff ordered were not enough. Could that even mean that the RNZAF will get the eight A-109's it needs - with an extra role as domestic VIP transport?

If that all pans out. It would be very pleasing.
Haven't seen the Flight International article so I'll have to go & have a 'sneaky peek' at the bookstore!

When I spoke to Wayne Mapp back in 2007 (as opposition defence spokesman) he was dead keen on quite a sizeable T/LUH fleet, in fact he even felt 15-20 would be acceptable, but he wasn't that keen on the NH-90. He reckoned the NH-90 purchase was too expensive & in fact just a Labour Govt 'sop' to the RNZAF as a sweetener for loss of the ACF. Ignoring the fact that it's time the RNZAF got a modern capable chopper!

At the time I said the T/LUH specs were best met by the AW109 yet he'd not (then) heard of the type (I showed in the type in literature I took along with me). Now that he's in Govt & has to be more realistic, esp. with the recession, you can guarantee he no longer thinks up to 20 T/LUH are required.

Anyway, I think you will see an argument for more AW109 in the defence review. I'd like to see 5 light-armed reconn for East Timor type ops (incl. with folding blades for Navy OPV deployment) but that's possibly a stretch, I suspect 3 or so without the 'extras' will be what we'll see.

I also (freaky!) at the time stated my view that 3 larger twin-turbo props were needed to assist with light transport & low-key SAR taskings - and suggested the Q300 due to commonality with AirNZ (before they announced a move to Q400). BUT my thinking was based on the assumption that the 5 KingAirs would be replaced 1:1 by a similar sized type (B350 gets my nod).

So if Mapp is suggesting 3 twin-turbo props initially, I hope like hell that they aren't to replace the current B200 fleet - otherwise the RNZAF will have less aircraft but more tasks! I appreciate that transport & SAR taskings can count as valuable advanced training tasks, but only for the more advanced students. Still better off with a B200/B350 type for the earlier phases of advanced training I would think.

As far as the Macchis, please please let's see 5-6 back in service for advanced training & Army / Navy training - plus basic 'stop a fishing vessel or a cessna' type capability with cannon pods. BUT John Key has already publicly stated that it's unlikely the jets will be returned to service - which kind of means Mapp's boss 'has spoken' so Mapp has no room to move there! Given there's so much NZDF investment needed & little extra cash, I don't think we'll see the Macchi's back!
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Old June 18th, 2010   #985
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The thing about JK is that if he is presented with a good argument for or against something he is flexible enough to change his mind. Ive meet him about half a dozen times now yet only once since he took on the big job. We never talked defence more likely Uradashi Bonds which as you'd expect he's razor sharp on. Though he did tell me at a CHC Tory party conference in 06 that if he had his way Whenuapei would stay open. He had his way of course. I remember joking with him at the time was that because there a couple of thousand votes in it. He replied what do you think? With a big grin on his dial. At the time he was asked the ACF question it was I think December 2008 and it was in basically in regard to a broader series of questions from the press gallery regarding the A-4's and their return to service or sale prospects. I doubt he would have had a through breifing by the AVM, the DefMin and the CDF on this particular matter. I know for what its worth that the Assoc DefMin is very keen with the Macchi regeneration and has been for sometime. She got hold of all of the documents under the OIA.. So I would not say the matter is dead ... yet. Notice the nuance in the language by Heather Roy at the recent press conference, she doubted that the A-4's would be back but never spoke about the Macchi's.

Yep, I talked to Wayno a few of times over the years and I was a Nth Shore resident before shooting overseas again. I used to see him round and about especially when Jonno Coleman had his training wheels on as an MP. I pretty much covered the same talking points as you regarding the Q300/LUH about 12 months ago with him, so I hope he has got it in both ears, took notes and has been pondering it since. Thing about Wayno and the other Nth Shore MP's are that they cogniscent on matter regarding defence more than the average polly, mainly because of the proximity to DNB and WAFB where the booths are strongly blue. One thing about Wayne Mapp is that he is regarded as an expert on International Commercial Law. I know for certain that if he had been in the driving seat at Defence the contractual arrangments would not have been so sloppy as they were. I reckon that though he was not involved directly in the Protector compensation negotiations he would have been able to give top level strategic advice and I'd like to think it might have made the difference having someone at the top who knows contract law inside out - face it Mark Burton couldn't handle a ministerial credit let alone a half billion dollar contract. I was pleasantly suprised in the resulting amount. In fact I did not expect it.

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Old June 18th, 2010   #986
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now Im no air plane expert but I can't really grasp why a C130, P3k or B757 pilot really needs a jet to complete his advanced pilot training. how do civis get their ticket? do they do a stint with their local fighter wing. I understand civ v mil is alot different flying wise but surely the theory is the same except maybe fly closer to the ground, throw it around abit, play follow the leader or see how smaller runway they can use. Not quite sure why we need a fast jet to train for mainly cumbersome prop A/C. Would'nt this be like buying a ducati to practice for your unimog licence. Fun but why?
Surely a Q300/CN235 type would be better suited as step up and have more beneficial alternate uses then a nimble 2 seater single engined jet. I understand fast jets use for FAC and maritime strike trg for army and navy and support this but not quite sure as to why for our pilot training if we do not have a strike wing for them to progress into.
As for the bigwigs quoting 3 Q300/CN235s initially surely this means augmenting the transport fleet with the king airs as 3 would barely cover training let alone taskings if you look at the 5 king airs we already have.
I would like to see 6 CN235s in 4 pax/cargo/vip configs and 2 MPA fit outs to give the numbers for multi prop training, tasking and maintanence. This would fill those litle niche ops out there and releive some pressure on the big birds in terms of SATs, local patrol, para courses etc.
Along with ditching the LEP and going 5 C130J-30s (to make up for the 8 Hs required) and 3 more A109s to give more tasking frames and free up the inevitably expensive overkill 90s on the smaller jobs.
Our future maritime patrol needs could begin to be seriously looked into now like possible A/C-UAV mixes so when replacement time comes we are not adding on another 6 years to final delivery date as at the moment it seems we wait until platforms are completely obsolete and then begin the whole replacement investigation process.
If we had all these sorted along with other things such as infrastructure, pers and funding then, and only then, can we move on to the ACF regeneration situation.

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Old June 18th, 2010   #987
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now Im no air plane expert but I can't really grasp why a C130, P3k or B757 pilot really needs a jet to complete his advanced pilot training. how do civis get their ticket? do they do a stint with their local fighter wing. I understand civ v mil is alot different flying wise but surely the theory is the same except maybe fly closer to the ground, throw it around abit, play follow the leader or see how smaller runway they can use. Not quite sure why we need a fast jet to train for mainly cumbersome prop A/C. Would'nt this be like buying a ducati to practice for your unimog licence. Fun but why?
Surely a Q300/CN235 type would be better suited as step up and have more beneficial alternate uses then a nimble 2 seater single engined jet. I understand fast jets use for FAC and maritime strike trg for army and navy and support this but not quite sure as to why for our pilot training if we do not have a strike wing for them to progress into.
As for the bigwigs quoting 3 Q300/CN235s initially surely this means augmenting the transport fleet with the king airs as 3 would barely cover training let alone taskings if you look at the 5 king airs we already have.
I would like to see 6 CN235s in 4 pax/cargo/vip configs and 2 MPA fit outs to give the numbers for multi prop training, tasking and maintanence. This would fill those litle niche ops out there and releive some pressure on the big birds in terms of SATs, local patrol, para courses etc.
Along with ditching the LEP and going 5 C130J-30s (to make up for the 8 Hs required) and 3 more A109s to give more tasking frames and free up the inevitably expensive overkill 90s on the smaller jobs.
Our future maritime patrol needs could begin to be seriously looked into now like possible A/C-UAV mixes so when replacement time comes we are not adding on another 6 years to final delivery date as at the moment it seems we wait until platforms are completely obsolete and then begin the whole replacement investigation process.
If we had all these sorted along with other things such as infrastructure, pers and funding then, and only then, can we move on to the ACF regeneration situation.
They are valid points to raise RegR however this is the take on things that I have been given.

One reason is comparable speed on Nav training and another is experience in turbine powerplants as used on the the other larger aircraft in the fleet. Training doctrine is totally different between mil/civ. There are flight characteristics that a smaller, faster and heavier AJT can do that a smaller, slower, light twin cannot replicate for the wider operational gambit that mil flying requires.

Also there are cost factors. It is cheaper over the long term to train on a cheaper aircraft for some parts of the cirriculum. The Kingairs can take a trainee so far and the rest of the type conversion is done on the bigger, heavier, faster and dramatically exspensive bird in the case of our 5/40 Sqd aircraft. With the Macchi we have a solution that is literally readymade. We own the aircraft. It is likely they are not going anywhere.

They are purpose built Advanced Flight Trainer and were used for all advanced training post the CT-4's at CFS. The per hour operational cost was under what the multi-engine andovers cost back in the 1990's (est $2800 p/h back in 2001), so they are economical (Not as cheap as B200's I'll accept (Roughly $1100-1400 p/h) but would not be much different than Q300's. We also have the Army/Navy ACS training gap that needs plugging and plugging fast imho. By putting the Machi back in the air does not mean regeneration of an ACF. It actually means getting the best out of the limited resources we have. We would not have to spend so much time and money rounding out crew training within busy squadron tasking like we do at present, we can take and get on top of the capability gaps in our wider training, and we can actually provide some basic level EEZ deterence and response capability. Not unlike the Jim Jenning's A-4 episode with the Taiwanese off Taranaki.

For the price of upgrading six Macchis to Batch II standard we could buy 3 new B200-ER's. Three B200's are not enough for the RNZAF AFT programme or even if we included 3 new Q300's, which I dare say will be very busy and will not I assume be primarily dedicated to AFT. Maybe I have missed it but the recent annoucement of CN235's/Q300 has not mentioned advanced flight training. The B200 still does not gives the wider secondary training and indeed basic enforcement options that would benefit the NZDF.

The 12 CT-4E's for basic, then on to the 6 Macchi's for advanced, then split into the LUH for rotary conversion, the Q300/CN235 for multi-engine conversion. With a small cadre of pilots to retain in house air combat skills to assist the combat air support training of the Navy and Army. Now when/if it becomes time to regenerate a full air combat capability the building blocks are there if we choose to do so. If that does not happen fine, but in the meantime we would have taken the most operationally and cost advantageous option.
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Old June 19th, 2010   #988
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Thanks for explaining some points MrC, I understood the operational benefits for having fast jets back just wondered about the pilot training side of the justification. Understandibly if we had the machhis in the air for basic ground, maritime strike exposure and limited interdiction anyway then the use for Advanced pilot training for the other sqns would just be another natural progression, but trying to justify them from a purely training perspective and then add the operational side just did not have me fully convinced.
Don't get me wrong I would love to see RNZAF jets back in the air but was just wondering in these tight times if it was a feasible option that was realistically needed and justifiable. If some upgraded machhis are beneficial to pilots in both a training and limited operational sense and are also a cost effective option with added bonuses for the other forces as well then surely it can only be considered by govt as a win win situation.
I also beleived the Q300/CN235 possibilities were brought about by the need to replace the king airs in multi engine training with the added bonus of taking up some of the transport/maritime patrol slack. I would be pleasantly surprised if they are destined for a sqn of their own and king air replacements are still on the table but I thought they were a compromise between training and providing alternate A/C to the larger more expensive platforms.
On a side note was driving by Ohakea and noticed the new hangers for 3 sqn with 8 larger hangers one side(presumably NH90s) and 6 smaller the other so thought maybe at the least a 6th A109 frame is in the pipeworks, although the hangers are either side of the main building so could probably be easily extended depending on space.

Last edited by RegR; June 19th, 2010 at 07:44 PM.
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Old June 21st, 2010   #989
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I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out the Air Forces requirements move towards a larger smaller fleet of transports - ie cn-235/cn-295 with fewer larger ones - ie C-130J, A-400M etc I quite like the Kawasaki C-2 in terms of performance and payload but thats never going to happen, c-2 and px seem quite impressive. designed for an island nation :-D

The cn-235 would be quite a useful addition, especially if it was bought with a decent maritime patrol package. Could even end up buying cn-235s that are capable of launching antiship missiles when our orions can't . . .
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Old June 21st, 2010   #990
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Originally Posted by MrConservative View Post
For the price of upgrading six Macchis to Batch II standard we could buy 3 new B200-ER's. Three B200's are not enough for the RNZAF AFT programme or even if we included 3 new Q300's, which I dare say will be very busy and will not I assume be primarily dedicated to AFT. Maybe I have missed it but the recent annoucement of CN235's/Q300 has not mentioned advanced flight training. The B200 still does not gives the wider secondary training and indeed basic enforcement options that would benefit the NZDF.

.
Why do people keep on mentioning new Q300's? The Q300 has been out of production since 2009, Air NZ bought the last of them, it would be very expensive to start up the production line to build a few for the RNZAF and I very much doubt Air New Zealand would want to hand over some of theirs.
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