NZDF General discussion thread

spoz

The Bunker Group
Modified BZ to the two PMs; at least this brings NZ part the way off the fence in standing up for the values of the West. Now to see if China takes any concrete action as a result; in some ways one hopes not but on the other hand anything which prompts a diversification of NZ markets is a good thing.
 

Gooey

Member
Yes and no.
Words are cheap and in the case of New Zealand, the resources have not been allocated for decades so that we are where we are. No fighting navy or fighting air force. Just in time, so that NZDF is entirely under-equipped for the rise in regional strategic competition. My understanding is that soft power (eg. the PMs communique) requires hard power (ie. 'discuss': 4-6 FFGs & 8-10 P-8A/LRASM) to back up the words.
Totally agree, that these words from Scomo and Saint J, are unified which is a huge thing. Good starter for ten. NZ Government now just needs to put its money where its mouth (and teeth) are.
 
I am looking forward to the new white paper, i wonder if the public will be allowed to provide feedback. Yes additional options are needed to enable a full range of responses.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
I did say "modified BZ"! Mind you, I can't think of too many pollies to whom I'd give an unqualified BZ - John Curtin during WW2 maybe?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I did say "modified BZ"! Mind you, I can't think of too many pollies to whom I'd give an unqualified BZ - John Curtin during WW2 maybe?
Peter Fraser the NZ wartime PM comes to mind for his handling of the wartime situation.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
What about Arnold Nordmeyer as finance minister at the same time who negotiated the deals that meant that both the Poms and the Yanks owed us money at the end of the said conflict.
 

Pepe le pew

New Member
What about Arnold Nordmeyer as finance minister at the same time who negotiated the deals that meant that both the Poms and the Yanks owed us money at the end of the said conflict.
My understanding was at the completion of the US-NZ Mutual Agreement in 1946 that the US had supplied aid to the value of L105m and in reverse NZ supplied L81m. Differences in accounting values reduced the actual deficit to a smaller amount which the US wrote off.

Canada also wrote off New Zealand's liability of L6m under a similar agreement.

Termination of Reciprocal Aid | NZETC (victoria.ac.nz)
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
What about Arnold Nordmeyer as finance minister at the same time who negotiated the deals that meant that both the Poms and the Yanks owed us money at the end of the said conflict.
Well that was reverse lend-lease and it kick started a few industries here like canning and the automotive industry. We also supplied grenades to the US Pacific forces. We made our own .303 ammo at ICI in Auckland. So all of those 500 odd aircraft that were cut up Ruakuria after the war we owned and should have kept some in service rather than buying pommy stuff, except for the Mosquitoes. Then we could've gone straight to Canberras and CAC Sabres in the 1950s.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
What about Arnold Nordmeyer as finance minister at the same time who negotiated the deals that meant that both the Poms and the Yanks owed us money at the end of the said conflict.
Arnold of the Black budget of 1958 when he heavily lifted the taxes on beer and baccy and lost his party the government benches the next election. My father always kept on mentioning that til the day he passed like it was a travesty against the people and a well deserved own goal.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
My understanding was at the completion of the US-NZ Mutual Agreement in 1946 that the US had supplied aid to the value of L105m and in reverse NZ supplied L81m. Differences in accounting values reduced the actual deficit to a smaller amount which the US wrote off.

Canada also wrote off New Zealand's liability of L6m under a similar agreement.

Termination of Reciprocal Aid | NZETC (victoria.ac.nz)
My information was from an article I read in the defence library in the 1970's in which if memory serves me correctly (not always the case) The poms owed us 89m pounds at the end of WW2 which was written off and due to reverse lend lease and we were not allowed to return equipment to the US as other countries had as the balance was in our favor so we wound up owning it. Due to memory failure I named the wrong person as minister of finance in WW2 as it was in fact Walter Nash.
 

chis73

Active Member
Just a quick note, to say that the Major Projects Reports for 2019 (ie up to mid-2019) & 2020 have been released on the MoD website. As expected, Covid-19 has had some major impacts. Doesn't look like we will have Te Mana back until the end of this year, and not taskable until sometime in 2022 at best.

Also, for those wanting a long read, after the Minister's comments about Seasprite sustainability in Line of Defence magazine a little while ago, I stumbled over an interesting master's thesis on Kaman Sh-2G(I) & NH90(NZ) sustainment from 2018. Worth a read for those who think about logistics. Link here.

I remain rather concerned that the RNZN still urgently needs a larger 'cargo' helicopter to operate from it's amphibious & auxiliary vessels - recent Australian actions over their MRH90 fleet suggest it just isn't up to snuff. Covid-19 means that there will be no money to buy anything new, so I am wondering what would be a cheap way to fulfill this need? I figure we would ideally need a half-dozen airframes to do the job properly. The US Military Sealift Command has been using leased civilian-operated Puma 330s to replace the retired Ch-46 'Phrogs' and has recently started converting to Super Puma H225s.

The other option I guess would be to go shopping at AMARG (AMARC?) for ex-service Seahawks. I note that there are a reasonable number of late-production SH-60F and HH-60H there. The SH-60F would be about as bargain basement a Seahawk that you can get (no RAST, no ESM, no radar etc). Spain, the USCG & I believe Israel have picked up several airframes already. I guess you could strip it of it's dunking sonar & put in some passenger seats, install a Rockwell CAAS digital cockpit and maybe a Primus 701A weather radar (effectively making it a USCG MH-60T) relatively cheaply (noting that the USCG has already done this). It would also need a decklock system though (I think the Danes have done that on the MH-60R). I am discounting the MH-60S as an option (production has finished, none available 2nd hand as yet, and I would prefer something that could land on a frigate if required)

One final alternative would be the ex-RAN S-70-B2 Seahawks that are in storage somewhere (in Victoria I think).
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I remain rather concerned that the RNZN ......

One final alternative would be the ex-RAN S-70-B2 Seahawks that are in storage somewhere (in Victoria I think).
Deal with the easy one first. The ex RAN S-70-B2 Seahawks are shagged, so no real advantage going there.

Next point, the Aussie MRH-90 (and Tiger) sustainment problems are more own goals than anything else. Right from the start they ran at both programs like a bull at a gate and then didn't order enough spares. That is a logistics problem that should have been sorted from the start as part of the original acquisition and problems foreseen and mitigated. So whilst the two vendors involved, like Kaman with our SH-2G(NZ) Seasprite, have been very lax in their after sales service, such issues can be to a degree mitigated as NZDF has done with our NH90 acquisition.

Your concern about the RNZN lack of a medium utility helo reflects that of mine and a few others. Your solution also is one that some of us reached about a year or so ago. We know that the is a shortage of helicopter capacity within the NZDF and such a solution could help alleviate that shortage. It is a matter of numbers and how many that we actually we require and how we can utilise them across NZDF.

Finally, just to throw a thought bubble out there, maybe we should chuck in a cheeky bid for all of the Aussie Tigers that will be looking a new home. :cool:
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Helicopters don’t really run into airframe life issues. And, while it’s been a while, the S-70B-2s were in pretty good nick last time I was involved with them. The problem was that there weren’t enough of them, and the bespoke combat management system, RAWS, which IIRC was based on 80286 chips, was obsolete and unsustainable. Rip that our and install a fairly simple flight control system and you would probably have quite a good utility cab.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Just a quick note, to say that the Major Projects Reports for 2019 (ie up to mid-2019) & 2020 have been released on the MoD website. As expected, Covid-19 has had some major impacts. Doesn't look like we will have Te Mana back until the end of this year, and not taskable until sometime in 2022 at best.

Also, for those wanting a long read, after the Minister's comments about Seasprite sustainability in Line of Defence magazine a little while ago, I stumbled over an interesting master's thesis on Kaman Sh-2G(I) & NH90(NZ) sustainment from 2018. Worth a read for those who think about logistics. Link here.

I remain rather concerned that the RNZN still urgently needs a larger 'cargo' helicopter to operate from it's amphibious & auxiliary vessels - recent Australian actions over their MRH90 fleet suggest it just isn't up to snuff. Covid-19 means that there will be no money to buy anything new, so I am wondering what would be a cheap way to fulfill this need? I figure we would ideally need a half-dozen airframes to do the job properly. The US Military Sealift Command has been using leased civilian-operated Puma 330s to replace the retired Ch-46 'Phrogs' and has recently started converting to Super Puma H225s.

The other option I guess would be to go shopping at AMARG (AMARC?) for ex-service Seahawks. I note that there are a reasonable number of late-production SH-60F and HH-60H there. The SH-60F would be about as bargain basement a Seahawk that you can get (no RAST, no ESM, no radar etc). Spain, the USCG & I believe Israel have picked up several airframes already. I guess you could strip it of it's dunking sonar & put in some passenger seats, install a Rockwell CAAS digital cockpit and maybe a Primus 701A weather radar (effectively making it a USCG MH-60T) relatively cheaply (noting that the USCG has already done this). It would also need a decklock system though (I think the Danes have done that on the MH-60R). I am discounting the MH-60S as an option (production has finished, none available 2nd hand as yet, and I would prefer something that could land on a frigate if required)

One final alternative would be the ex-RAN S-70-B2 Seahawks that are in storage somewhere (in Victoria I think).
So on one hand you acknowledge the effects of covid-19 on major projects yet with the other suggest introducing a new (old) fleet of helos?? Not really sure that's how cutting back works.

I'm not even sure just because we are/maybe going to get a new amphib automatically equates to getting it's own generic helos as well and just like CY now will just deploy with either 6 Sqn helos, 3 Sqn helos or a mixture of both from current fleets as arguably any major deployment by army via RNZN sealift ship(s) will in turn be the main focus for navy and air force support as well. Perhaps if/when the mooted extra bn group raises up then maybe extra helos may be aqquired comparitively but even then I would only see maybe another 2 and of existing types not another type all together. The only thing worse than 3 small fleets of helos, is a 4th even smaller fleet...
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I'm not even sure just because we are/maybe going to get a new amphib automatically equates to getting it's own generic helos as well and just like CY now will just deploy with either 6 Sqn helos, 3 Sqn helos or a mixture of both from current fleets as arguably any major deployment by army via RNZN sealift ship(s) will in turn be the main focus for navy and air force support as well. Perhaps if/when the mooted extra bn group raises up then maybe extra helos may be aqquired comparitively but even then I would only see maybe another 2 and of existing types not another type all together. The only thing worse than 3 small fleets of helos, is a 4th even smaller fleet...
Reg, to quote the famous world renown and wise philosopher Sgt Oddball: "why the negative thoughts Moriaty? Think positive thoughts." :cool:

We have a problem of not enough rotary wing assets for the taskings and we will end thrashing our assets just like we did with the SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprite. When both the NH90 and A109 were acquired, the GOTD went with the absolute minimum of numbers, whilst NZDF required a mininim of 10 NH90 to enable it to achieve the Govts policy objectives without creating future problems such as occurred with the first Seasprites. So unfortunately we still have the impacts of previous short sighted policy.

We do need to increase our rotary wing capability and there are different options for increasing it:
  1. Acquire more NH90. There is now a MTTH variant - a Marinised Troop Transport Helicopter. We could acquire x number of these and retroactively refit our current NH90TTH to NH90MTTH standard.
    1. Advantages:
      1. This ensures fleet commonality.
      2. When it comes to replacement we are able to undertake it in two tranches.
    2. Disadvantages:
      1. This is the most expensive option.
      2. Ongoing parts logistics problems from manufacturer.
      3. Uncertainty of delivery.
  2. Acquire new build S-70 marinised utility helos.
    1. Advantages:
      1. A known platform in service with USN and other navies as MH-60S.
      2. Possibly can be acquired through FMS .
      3. NOTE:Whilst the MH-60S is no longer built, LM off its equivalent as part of the S-70 series.
    2. Disadvantages.
      1. Second most expensive option.
      2. Introducing a new platform type into NZDF rotary wing fleet.
  3. Acquire used SH / UH-60 aircraft ex Boneyard and refurbish to NZ specs. These aircraft would be marinised and given modern glass cockpits. They would be basic no frills utility aircraft and spread across the RNZAF and RNZN.
    1. Advantages.
      1. More helicopters for buck.
      2. Increased numbers take pressure off existing NZDF fleet.
      3. Aircraft can be permanently allocated to Aotearoa and Canterbury. In case of Canterbury the number on board can be increased if missions require such.
      4. When ESV arrives already have rotary wing assets available for it.
    2. Disadvantages.
      1. Increasing a new platform type into NZDF rotary wing fleet.
      2. The aircraft will have a limited service life compared to new builds.
  4. Do nothing.
    1. Advantages.
      1. No need to spend money.
      2. No need to spend political capital.
      3. Doesn't upset the PRC.
      4. Doesn't upset the peace groups and other left wing groups.
      5. For the current government, looks good politically and adheres to their long term Party Policy.
      6. For the National Party, adheres to their neoliberal economic policy platform - cut govt spending.
      7. Keeps Treasury happy.
    2. Disadvantages.
      1. Leaves NZDF under equipped.
      2. Creates a false economy of sshort-term gain.
      3. Causes long-term very expensive problems.
      4. Prevents NZDF from fully meeting govt policy requirements.
      5. Creates safety problems as NZDF tries to implement govt policy requirements with a lack of serviceable assets.
      6. Reduces NZDF effectiveness to perform its function of defending NZ and its Realm.
      7. Reduces NZDF ability to operate with its sole ally and its coalition partners.
That's the four options as I see it. As you note I haven't mentioned numbers yet, but if either of Option 2 or 3 were chosen, by necessity numbers would have to be somewhat larger than the current NH90TTH fleet. So I don't believe that your concern about another small fleet would necessarily apply.

My own recommendation is for Option 3 because that gives us the greatest versatility. I would be tempted to acquire another 2 NH90TTH for 3 Sqn to bring them up to strength, but I would be looking at a fleet made up from Option 3 to undertake a lot of utility work especially with the RNZN.

We will be replacing the current Seasprites in about 6 years and odds on their replacement will be the MH-60R. We know that it's an expensive acquisition and the GOTD will not be keen on buying 9 or 10 of them. However if we work on the principle of 3 frigates then that's 6 Romeos and the other flight decks could be covered by Option 3 aircraft. That's a significant cost saving.

That's my 1 cents worth.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Reg, to quote the famous world renown and wise philosopher Sgt Oddball: "why the negative thoughts Moriaty? Think positive thoughts." :cool:

We have a problem of not enough rotary wing assets for the taskings and we will end thrashing our assets just like we did with the SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprite. When both the NH90 and A109 were acquired, the GOTD went with the absolute minimum of numbers, whilst NZDF required a mininim of 10 NH90 to enable it to achieve the Govts policy objectives without creating future problems such as occurred with the first Seasprites. So unfortunately we still have the impacts of previous short sighted policy.

We do need to increase our rotary wing capability and there are different options for increasing it:
  1. Acquire more NH90. There is now a MTTH variant - a Marinised Troop Transport Helicopter. We could acquire x number of these and retroactively refit our current NH90TTH to NH90MTTH standard.
    1. Advantages:
      1. This ensures fleet commonality.
      2. When it comes to replacement we are able to undertake it in two tranches.
    2. Disadvantages:
      1. This is the most expensive option.
      2. Ongoing parts logistics problems from manufacturer.
      3. Uncertainty of delivery.
  2. Acquire new build S-70 marinised utility helos.
    1. Advantages:
      1. A known platform in service with USN and other navies as MH-60S.
      2. Possibly can be acquired through FMS .
      3. NOTE:Whilst the MH-60S is no longer built, LM off its equivalent as part of the S-70 series.
    2. Disadvantages.
      1. Second most expensive option.
      2. Introducing a new platform type into NZDF rotary wing fleet.
  3. Acquire used SH / UH-60 aircraft ex Boneyard and refurbish to NZ specs. These aircraft would be marinised and given modern glass cockpits. They would be basic no frills utility aircraft and spread across the RNZAF and RNZN.
    1. Advantages.
      1. More helicopters for buck.
      2. Increased numbers take pressure off existing NZDF fleet.
      3. Aircraft can be permanently allocated to Aotearoa and Canterbury. In case of Canterbury the number on board can be increased if missions require such.
      4. When ESV arrives already have rotary wing assets available for it.
    2. Disadvantages.
      1. Increasing a new platform type into NZDF rotary wing fleet.
      2. The aircraft will have a limited service life compared to new builds.
  4. Do nothing.
    1. Advantages.
      1. No need to spend money.
      2. No need to spend political capital.
      3. Doesn't upset the PRC.
      4. Doesn't upset the peace groups and other left wing groups.
      5. For the current government, looks good politically and adheres to their long term Party Policy.
      6. For the National Party, adheres to their neoliberal economic policy platform - cut govt spending.
      7. Keeps Treasury happy.
    2. Disadvantages.
      1. Leaves NZDF under equipped.
      2. Creates a false economy of sshort-term gain.
      3. Causes long-term very expensive problems.
      4. Prevents NZDF from fully meeting govt policy requirements.
      5. Creates safety problems as NZDF tries to implement govt policy requirements with a lack of serviceable assets.
      6. Reduces NZDF effectiveness to perform its function of defending NZ and its Realm.
      7. Reduces NZDF ability to operate with its sole ally and its coalition partners.
That's the four options as I see it. As you note I haven't mentioned numbers yet, but if either of Option 2 or 3 were chosen, by necessity numbers would have to be somewhat larger than the current NH90TTH fleet. So I don't believe that your concern about another small fleet would necessarily apply.

My own recommendation is for Option 3 because that gives us the greatest versatility. I would be tempted to acquire another 2 NH90TTH for 3 Sqn to bring them up to strength, but I would be looking at a fleet made up from Option 3 to undertake a lot of utility work especially with the RNZN.

We will be replacing the current Seasprites in about 6 years and odds on their replacement will be the MH-60R. We know that it's an expensive acquisition and the GOTD will not be keen on buying 9 or 10 of them. However if we work on the principle of 3 frigates then that's 6 Romeos and the other flight decks could be covered by Option 3 aircraft. That's a significant cost saving.

That's my 1 cents worth.
When have we been short of NH90 frames though? What taskings have not been met due to lack of available NH90s or A109s? I have not heard of 3 Sqn burning through their annual hours and falling short, in fact quite the opposite. Actually for a time there they where even short of crewman to even man what they had so just like navy it's more than just a case of throwing more ships (in this case helicopters) at the problem until you solve the manning/funding issues in the first place otherwise what exactly is being solved? Just like the IPVs where they originally envisaged 6 crews to run the 4 ships and in the end could barely keep 2 at sea. The 90s are no different in that I think they need at least 12 full crews to operate effectively so even adding 2 more to just the NH90 fleet would require at least another 3 full crews + corresponding techs, support, infrastructure, funding allocation etc etc it all adds up and like I said are they actually "short" in the first place? When have we ever needed all 8 NH90s and 5 A109s on task at once? or even 4 NH90s and 3 A109s for that matter? Rarely? Like I said if/when they deploy in support of a "major" op then that is usually the main sqn focus at that time regardless which also requires other trades/support from on base and even wider air force in general. It is not only our fleets that are small as generally the supporting trades are limited as well plus still have to support all sqns not just helos so just like them have to prioritise tasks accordingly. It is not just a case of merely adding more helicopters.

All projects have the high-mid-low pathway option to give the widest range of possibilities and capabilities and generally you aim for the 1 above knowing full well govt penny pinchers are going to go for the least risky/flashy/costly option so therefore should settle on a happy medium. When has defence ever actually gotten what they wanted or more than they wanted in any project (ie high pathway)? I've never seen it. This is a recurring issue and definitely nothing new so you think defence may have cottoned on perhaps after all these decades? As in ask for/justify X knowing full well chances are you will get/have to do with Y, this is not their first rodeo in procurement. It's abit like thinking NZDF gets all the funding they ask for when we all know that is most definately not the case so like anything you have to sell 2 up to get 1 down and hope for the best possible outcome.

Remember, we are still waiting for the long mooted extra 3 A109 frames that was also deemed necessary at the time and that should have been a relatively easy, timely and cost effective project in comparison...
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
Any shortage of NH-90 helicopters and too a lesser degree the AW109 within the RNZAF will take effect when they are eventually employed on the prime reason we bought them. Namely the tactical air support on a sustained Chp VII UNSC deployment rotation and would become critical when a short term Pacific event viz HADR or SASO Chp VIII type scenario compounds this. Where the issue will be at the crux point is the continuity of direct crew training and wider NZDF support and training whilst the RNZAF attempts to maintain the deployment rotation drumbeat and everything else will simply stop. Then along comes a flood, a blizzard, an earthquake or other natural disaster to fubar it all.

Not acquiring a simulator and other synthetic training for many years due to penny pinching held up crew TRADOC. The delayed IOC saw a significant number of trained crew leave during the types transition to service in that 2009 to 2014 period. Crews had to frequently go to Italy for a month or two at a time to conduct training and currency for many years. Huge delays in readiness for role in a number of areas of supporting equipment were also an issue. As for tasking tempo the significant cpfh of the NH90 has made the type less ubiquitous in the traditional supporting MAOT roles that the humble and low cost Huey did. In other words it is more rationed in its directed taskings.

The gap in the NZDF rotary exists in the lower end MOAT/HADR of the operational spectrum of what the NZDF is tasked to do. The thing to remeber is that the NZDF has a duality of key roles in its service to the nation as defined in the Defence Act. Armed Combat on one hand and the Aid to Civil Power on the other. One could argue that with 8 SeaSprites, 8 NH90's and 5 AW109 their is enough to cover (for now) the primary focus of sustained training and deployed support for a rotated UNSC Timor type deployment and in the case of the T/LUH direct competency training. The fact that over the current in service life that the NH90 has not needed to be used in that prime role is not an excuse to argue for the current levels of rotary assets to be acceptable. The non deployment status so far simply papers over the cracks. Once deployed the cracks will appear. However, acquiring a further fully fledged combat qualified MUH is not the solution. More NH-90's are not the only solution especially if a cheaper more appropriate MUH was acquired so that the NH90 could be freed up to do its prime role and not have to slum it rescuing farmers from the foofs of flooded houses. Deploying a LandSAR party to on a mountainside looking for lost hikers, lifting gas bottles and plastic water tanks for the Department on Conservation, flying a cabinet minister somewhere to inspect something!

The 5th option NG is of course to lease a Medium Utility Helicopter type that has an existing depot level support footprint to leverage into or at least buy them and retain a support contract within local aviation industry to reduce the RNZAF footprint. The 15 seat AW139 for example. The Australian Army has leased through Toll Aviation a small number of late to sustain capacity. A number of defence, SAR and law enforcement agencies world wise do this. The current commercial arrangement with Hawker Pacific with either a lease+support or acquisition+support reveals this way of acquisition not to be an issue. Especially for the roles in the lower end of the NZDF expected spectrum.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Any shortage of NH-90 helicopters and too a lesser degree the ....

Especially for the roles in the lower end of the NZDF expected spectrum.
I didn't think of the fifth option of leasing but in this particular case I think we would strike some problems because we really require a MUH that's not going to cost a lot to acquire and is marinised so that we can send it to sea as a utility helo. Whilst the AW139 is really nice I cannot find any reference for it being marinised, so I presume that it doesn't have folding rotors and tail boom, deck securing system, and the corrosion prevention measures required for naval aircraft. So unless a lessor is willing to pick up the costs for that (rather doubtful) then we either fund it (expensive) or forget about it completely. That's why I believe we can achieve our aim with Option 3.
 
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