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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6496
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I see a lot of comment on here about getting Pilots from the 5 eyes community. Be prepared for the RNZAF to either pay plenty of $$$ for it or be disappointed. The RAF, RAAF, RCAF and USAF are all suffering from a shortage of fighter pilots. There are plenty of references to this online if you are prepared to search.

Additionally- the RAF and RAAF have very little to no spare training capacity both on hawks and frontline types. They are busy training their own guys to fill the above shortage. Further - 2OCU are out of the Classic Hornet business in 2020 (see link)- I would suggest there isnít enough time to get a single Kiwi through before then, assuming they have to perform a LIF course. (https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore...d&subId=254100). There may be slots available st the NFTC in Canada for Hawk students.
If Mr Mark wants to get that short squadron of ten legacy Hornets that he is proposing that is exactly what he would have to do - hand over cash.

I am aware of the fast air pilot amongst 5 Eyes nations shortage - and it may well be one of the benefits of getting the RNZAF back into that business. Certainly better that all 5 are generating pilots numbers if their are shortages elsewhere.

If that does not happen the solution would be to put out an RFI to industry to search the world for a handful of Hornet QFI's plus a maintainers group from 5 Eyes countries who want to earn top coin in NZ under a commercial contract to supply the necessary services through a limited liability company to build up the capability over the interim with the NZDF/RNZAF.

Of course with the F-15's from Singapore likely to be arriving at OH on a permanent basis there is also an option to see where mutual benefit could be explored.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6497
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What might be viable (with a whole pile of if, ands, & buts) would be for some Kiwi pilots to get seconded to other air services like the RAAF, RAF, RCAF, USAF, or USN FAA for multi-year deployments, perhaps 3-5 year periods. They would remain RNZAF personnel, but be operating in various needed roles for the service they were attached to. Operating in this cooperative fashion could help fill some of the gaps in friendly & allied services while giving Kiwi personnel access to training and at least as important operational experience. If this is done on a rotating basis, it could gradually build up a core group of Kiwi pilots who would have many skills needed for an ACF.

But this would likely be gradual work, which could be problematic after any changes in gov't.
Have you also thought about the the RSAF option who are going into this business right here in NZ.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6498
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Have you also thought about the the RSAF option who are going into this business right here in NZ.
Has the Labour party ever made any public declaration in support of the RSAF proposal? I'm not aware of any - I know the local MP (Labour) before the election was very keen but until an official statement is made I won't hold my breath. I'm not doubting you MrC, just curious as to what support, or otherwise, the current Govt might have.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6499
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Have you also thought about the the RSAF option who are going into this business right here in NZ.
I have, though I am uncertain whether there would be enough open slots in fast jet operations to make it worthwhile.

Also given how distributed the RSAF training is around the world, establishing a Kiwi contingent might be problematic.

Now if the RSAF were to decide to relocate their LIFT from France, that could present a significant opportunity for NZ to host 150 Sqn and perhaps develop a RNZAF LIFT programme.

One of the other things which I think would need some serious consideration is what the future would hold, if the RNZAF were to reform an ACF. Any secondhand aircraft would likely need replacing within a decade, or perhaps 15 years at the most. If new build aircraft were invested in, they would likely last a generation, but their operational viability and relevance might not. Does anyone think the RNZAF might purchase some F-35 Lightnings in the 2027-2032 timeframe?

As much as I would like to see NZ have an ACF again thought and planning need to be dedicated not just to how to go about re-establishing an ACF, but getting the commitments needed to keep it, and having a plan on keeping it relevant as threats and technology change how air combat and warfighting is fought.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6500
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Has the Labour party ever made any public declaration in support of the RSAF proposal? I'm not aware of any - I know the local MP (Labour) before the election was very keen but until an official statement is made I won't hold my breath. I'm not doubting you MrC, just curious as to what support, or otherwise, the current Govt might have.
Don't hold your breath - breathe easy Mr Gibbo.

ILG is very keen - defence is great business for his region as it is for Ian McKelvie and No3 industry behind Ag and Education in employment terms. Actually - Here is a general question. Why is there this assumption that Labour would not be keen and does it really matter?

As was quipped by a now opposition MP and until recently Minister I attended a BBQ with yesterday - "This is not a normal MMP government. This is a power sharing arrangement and like in the Mafia the No2 has all the real power and doesn't get whacked."

All the matters is that Winstone, Shane and Ron like it - it ticks an easy win for regional development in the Manawatu, moves the ACF goalposts for Ron, and a long as Winstone get to cut the opening ribbon, get drunk and growl at the MSM all at once he is happy.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6501
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Further to that we are making an assumption that these pilots will want to return home. The only reason we are discussing it is because we have a defence Minister that supports it and that as we know is far from the natural state of things with the NZ Labour party. But look at the opportunities the potential pilot has in moving to NZ, 1 of 10-20? pilots competing to fly 8-10 airframes of a type that while still capable is obsolete. While if he stays in the RAAF there is the possibility of flying Super Hornet or growlers or even F35's. RAF pilots would be flying Tornado's but these are/have been phased out in favour of the Typhoon, reputably one of the most agile fighters in the world, also F35's. Thats just the fun side what about career opportunities. Assume you got ex RAAF and RAF pilots at say Flying officer rank, what is the potential for advancement for an ACF with 8-10 airframes? 2 squadron leaders 4 Flight Lieutenant's and the rest assorted Flying officers and even Pilot officers. In short a very competitive field for advancement. So in short this doesn't look like a wonderful career move for a young aviator still near the start of his/her careers.
Have you ever heard of civilian contract for service agreements? Your assuming we would want RAAF and RAF to leave where they are and be our pilots.

So your 40 year old F/A-18 QFI can either go fly for an airline or take a contract to fly in an instructor role for the same money under a civilian contract for service agreement with a service provider that has its contract with the RNZAF to provide said training services.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6502
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Honestly I never considered F/A-18 A/B Hornets viable for the RNZAF.
I still have not read anything or been provided with counter-factuals that changes my view in the context I placed it a few days ago. There maybe more viable options not publicly known - but what we do know is that this issue made it as far as a PM presser. Who handed it all back to the DefMin who has not denied it.

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Originally Posted by Todjaeger View Post
What might be viable (with a whole pile of if, ands, & buts) would be for some Kiwi pilots to get seconded to other air services like the RAAF, RAF, RCAF, USAF, or USN FAA for multi-year deployments, perhaps 3-5 year periods. They would remain RNZAF personnel, but be operating in various needed roles for the service they were attached to. Operating in this cooperative fashion could help fill some of the gaps in friendly & allied services while giving Kiwi personnel access to training and at least as important operational experience. If this is done on a rotating basis, it could gradually build up a core group of Kiwi pilots who would have many skills needed for an ACF.

But this would likely be gradual work, which could be problematic after any changes in gov't.
Don't worry about the ifs and buts thats what the legal teams get paid to sort out. Locking in a project pathway to make it much harder to cut and run from is another legal team speciality. In my view if it is bought back it stays back - like the knighthoods - bought back to reverse a Helen Clark policy - not changing anytime soon.

Yes aspects of an exchange would be good - but not a total panacea - as you point out far to slow to gain traction. Contracting in service providers to make it work is the option. Anything we dont have - contract it in. LIFT and other flight training aspect required - contract it in, support and maintenance - contract it in, key personnel to make it work - contract them in.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6503
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I see a lot of comment on here about getting Pilots from the 5 eyes community. Be prepared for the RNZAF to either pay plenty of $$$ for it or be disappointed. The RAF, RAAF, RCAF and USAF are all suffering from a shortage of fighter pilots. There are plenty of references to this online if you are prepared to search.

Additionally- the RAF and RAAF have very little to no spare training capacity both on hawks and frontline types. They are busy training their own guys to fill the above shortage. Further - 2OCU are out of the Classic Hornet business in 2020 (see link)- I would suggest there isn’t enough time to get a single Kiwi through before then, assuming they have to perform a LIF course. (https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore...d&subId=254100). There may be slots available st the NFTC in Canada for Hawk students.
Exactly, seems to be alot of assumption that there is viable spare capacity out there in terms of training, support and even operation. Not very economically sound for countries to be running and maintaining training programs in excess and definately not in squadron strength numbers unless they are struggling to fill their own slots initially but then would be all relative so operational squadrons would/should have first priority in terms of QFIs (pilots) and senior instructors (maintanence) on Sqn so numbers would be lean and mean anyway in any trg establishment only adding to their own demand.

Much like assuming the US will just have spare C17s AND that they will be willing to let us have a few from their stocks is actually more about them then us and would essentially need to benefit them as much (at least) as us for them to even consider worthwhile. Whilst we are all friends that still only goes so far and rightly so, everyone has outputs to maintain at some kind of cost.

As for contracting in, could we even afford the 10 or so years worth of "premium"? Seconding also has its pitfalls, especially for so long, as sometimes the grass starts becoming greener and Aus is a good example of this when our guys see the wages, equipment, lifestyle, oppourtunities etc and get offered a chance, they will take it. I heard a rumour years ago (pre remmuneration) of cutting back our SAS exchanges with SASR specifically due to this doing more harm than good.

Whilst all for a return to ACF I sometimes think a big ask now and for many years to come and even after that still a demand as we not only need the will and support of the forces, government and the public to literally get off the ground but also the longterm goal and resposibility to maintain, keep relevant and deploy operationally otherwise we will just be repeating the past and then next time things get tough, repeat history with all the same reasoning and so all for what?
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Regarding RNZAF fast jet platform, wouldn't it be smarter (and hopefully cheaper) to forget the second hand Hornets and start by acquiring trainers then also using them to develop an interim recon, CAS, bomber and fighter capability. Roadmap could use:
  • a turboprop aircraft such as the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
  • a jet aircraft such as the Hawk, or maybe
  • start with Tucano, then introduce the Hawk.
These platforms would suffice for low end engagements.

Maybe around 2030, having got the bugs out of your Conops, look at adding a squadron or two of more capable aircraft.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6505
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Regarding RNZAF fast jet platform, wouldn't it be smarter (and hopefully cheaper) to forget the second hand Hornets and start by acquiring trainers then also using them to develop an interim recon, CAS, bomber and fighter capability. Roadmap could use:
  • a turboprop aircraft such as the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
  • a jet aircraft such as the Hawk, or maybe
  • start with Tucano, then introduce the Hawk.
These platforms would suffice for low end engagements.

Maybe around 2030, having got the bugs out of your Conops, look at adding a squadron or two of more capable aircraft.
Great idea IMO. Additionally, 2 groups of subject matter experts made up of ex or / current RNZAF pilots on one side feeding information to the design team on the other side and a project manager charged with lobbying government and firms for funds and other material is essential to standing up a world class ACF.

It's my belief RNZAF funding will always be tight and starting out from a point of bringing integration of components parts back into RNZAF will allow cost savings to be found by sourcing component parts instead of the final product. As long as that wealth of understanding is there it shouldn't matter if it's a Frankenstein ACF platform as long as the brains trust can make it work.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6506
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Originally Posted by FoxtrotRomeo999 View Post
Regarding RNZAF fast jet platform, wouldn't it be smarter (and hopefully cheaper) to forget the second hand Hornets and start by acquiring trainers then also using them to develop an interim recon, CAS, bomber and fighter capability. Roadmap could use:
  • a turboprop aircraft such as the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
  • a jet aircraft such as the Hawk, or maybe
  • start with Tucano, then introduce the Hawk.
These platforms would suffice for low end engagements.

Maybe around 2030, having got the bugs out of your Conops, look at adding a squadron or two of more capable aircraft.
We already operate the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II as the ab inito trainer and they have been wired and plumbed for armament and external fuel tanks so no need to acquire another single engined TP trainer. If we were to go down the LIFT path then the KAI FA-50 would be the most appropriate choice given its capabilities.

The reason that the RAAF F/A-18 Classics have been suggested is because of cost, compatibility, the ANZAC links and ease of access to Australia from NZ. It was a pollie who suggested the RAAF classic hornets as a possibility. Some of us were advocating used LM F- 16s from the Boneyard.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #6507
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Today 16 years ago today the RNZAF Strike wing died. May it rise again soon.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #6508
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Just a quick question in regards to NZ NH-90 and fully equipped troop seating arrangements, ADF Taipans were supposedly moving to a new configuration that is/was under development that will seat up to 16 fully-equipped infantry on wider seats, is NZ following the ADF example?
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I think NZs chance of getting back into the fast jet game is negligible.

However I would think that unmanned combat aircraft would be something worth considering.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #6510
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Just a quick question in regards to NZ NH-90 and fully equipped troop seating arrangements, ADF Taipans were supposedly moving to a new configuration that is/was under development that will seat up to 16 fully-equipped infantry on wider seats, is NZ following the ADF example?
Not sure but the RNZAF have a floor spreader solution.
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