NZDF General discussion thread

Xthenaki

Active Member
Mr C - I agree and support your 5th option so that the Nh90s can be available for their more important roles primarily with defence. As we already lease the KingAir 350s in a support role (Air force and other govt agencies) leasing some extra MUH should be looked at in the same way. I have to wonder if senior ranked service personal are reluctant to pursue this option because it may compromise another new acquisition from the funding that is totally inadequate.
 

RegR

Well-Known 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.
Guess we will just have to wait and see regarding the next major deployment to see if the govt will then go out and buy more helos, train more crews, build more hangers etc etc but then like you say they could just lease helo support to cover, either here or in theatre, as would still be cheaper than funding another fulltime fleet on a what if scenario. To use the Timor deployment again just reiterates the fact that any major deployment will be the primary focus of 3 Sqn, it was actually the primary focus of NZDF and actually stretched the entire defence force, army, navy and air force not just helos, everything, so going by that alone we should have increased numbers/capability in a few areas if that was actually the case as lessons were definately learnt from that op and in many instances the hard way. Perfect case and point right? But we did'nt, and that was over 20 years ago now so obviously somebody feels the current structure is sufficient, we have had the experience, we would run out of crews before we ran out of helos imo.

We do all these ex's to Aus such as Hamel exactly to test the ability to deploy in support of army, ie prime role, as well as every other deployment here and overseas to lessor degrees to prove the concept of deploying in the first place and the issue in my mind is not the number of frames more the sustainment and rotation of pers as we are not going to send over 6 NH90s to Timor just because we sent 6 hueys (which I think people believe) as that would literally require the entire squadron and the added capability of the 90 negate this anyway ie 2 90s would do the the job of 4 legacy hueys easily, so 3 NH90s would be a normal deployment in support. If Belgium? can deploy 3 frames to Mali for 6 months in the medevac role from their even smaller fleet then I'd like to think we could do the same, again the issue would be the sustainment rather than numbers. Hopefully we do a rotation (as rumoured) to prove or disprove the idea.

Yes agreed the NH90 cost (literally) overkills a lot of "minor" tasks now compared to.the hueys and defence will adjust their taskings accordingly but that's the price paid for the leap in capability and adding more 90s or another fleet would not lesson this. Perhaps just like the arguments for the axing of the IPVs will need to be applied and cheaper civilian options will now be required to conduct menial civilian tasks and defence shifts focus to core taskings? Even though to be fair even those tasks you mentioned all add up in terms of competency and training in lieu of actual "combat" flying.

The factor I feel that could possibly warrant any added numbers at this point would be the raising of the mooted bn group to 6000 "infantryman" (as the media puts it) but then a few capabilities and assets will no doubt require adding as a result so again will all come down to cost. Though I highly doubt this will happen any time soon as army is still bleeding numbers now, the reason there were so many loggies on the last intake was apparently because the supply trade is hurting with the amount of pers they are short, and that is just 1 trade! So while adding equipment is all well and good, just like a deployment, you have to be able to support it long term otherwise it is all for nothing.
 
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MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
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.
Cost comparisons with owning, upgrading and operating 35-40 year old SH/UH-60's ex AMARC with owing, modifying and operating used 10 year old AW-139's from the offshore O&G industry that are eminently suitable for the occasional temporary use off the Canterbury or Aotearoa.
 

chis73

Active Member
Good discussion everyone, and I take Mr C's & RegR's points onboard. My gut feeling is that something needs to be started now to supplement the Seasprite, rather than waiting till it is utterly dead in 2027 and we are left without a working maritime helicopter (I imagine that 25 year old bespoke ITAS system must be causing some serious support headaches in 6 Sqn already; any upgrade is probably out of the question given the tiny global fleet and the age of the platform). HMNZS Aotearoa needs a proper (marinized/embarkable) cargo/utility helicopter right now (which, of course, should have been ordered with the ship!) - the Seasprite isn't it with it's modest 4000lb slung load capacity, and the NZ NH90 has consistently proven it's not up to real maritime ops (unless the ship it's on is anchored in harbour). What I guess I am trying to say is: if you only have say NZ$200mil to spend right now, what gets you the most bang for your buck? For me, it is a small fleet of marinized medium utility helicopters. This fixes Aotearoa, and probably the major issues with Canterbury pretty much straight away. Gives you something decent to use from the possible future SOPV, and the potential enhanced (2nd) Sealift Vessel. At the bargain end of the market pretty much the only option is a used/upgraded Seahawk (and the supply chain for it is about the best you could get). Buying new won't happen: based on DSCA data, a half-dozen MH-60R cost US$ 1 billion (for South Korea & Denmark)

Mr C, have you seen the price Aus Army are paying for those 2 leased AW139s - AU$37 mil over 3 years according to last week's Senate Estimate hearing (ouch!). Like Ngati, while the AW139 is an option - it isn't something that could help 6 Sqn.

Ngati, just to note, the NH90 MTTH is produced by the Italians (and I think only 10 are scheduled to be produced). It has different engines than the RNZAF NH90s.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The annual assessment of the Minister of Defence by Simon Ewen-Jarvie. It's pretty well on the mark.

 

RegR

Well-Known Member
The annual assessment of the Minister of Defence by Simon Ewen-Jarvie. It's pretty well on the mark.

I have a feeling Henare is not going to put much direct effort into expanding/fighting for the defence portfolio and instead ride the incoming projects coat tails ie bushmasters, P8, C130Js as they come online for "the win". Those other portfolios he has fingers in will take (his) priority in this covid/climate change/roading or whatever this years issue band wagoning period ie health, housing even tourism, as they literally get more public airtime and therefore sympathy, unfortunate for defence but then that's always been politics in this country sadly. I feel Mark was actually gaining momentum in defence whereas Henares just maintaining it.
 
I have to agree with you. The Minister will likely spend 90% of his time setting up the Maori Health Authority, which to be fair will be a very big job. the rest of the time he will just make sure things do not go worse and cause embarrasement.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Minister of Defence is a full time gig in my view - like what Ron Mark had. Not something to be job shared with other other portfolios.

The ministerial talent pool is such that all the major portfolios are with a very small bunch of players with Covid hiding the train wreck of ideology and incompetence behind the scenes.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
Good discussion everyone, and I take Mr C's & RegR's points onboard. My gut feeling is that something needs to be started now to supplement the Seasprite, rather than waiting till it is utterly dead in 2027 and we are left without a working maritime helicopter (I imagine that 25 year old bespoke ITAS system must be causing some serious support headaches in 6 Sqn already; any upgrade is probably out of the question given the tiny global fleet and the age of the platform). HMNZS Aotearoa needs a proper (marinized/embarkable) cargo/utility helicopter right now (which, of course, should have been ordered with the ship!) - the Seasprite isn't it with it's modest 4000lb slung load capacity, and the NZ NH90 has consistently proven it's not up to real maritime ops (unless the ship it's on is anchored in harbour). What I guess I am trying to say is: if you only have say NZ$200mil to spend right now, what gets you the most bang for your buck? For me, it is a small fleet of marinized medium utility helicopters. This fixes Aotearoa, and probably the major issues with Canterbury pretty much straight away. Gives you something decent to use from the possible future SOPV, and the potential enhanced (2nd) Sealift Vessel. At the bargain end of the market pretty much the only option is a used/upgraded Seahawk (and the supply chain for it is about the best you could get).
Finding a panacea to the limitations that the NH90 has bought us in the maritime environment and the limits of the Seasprite will take some serious coin and effort. I don't think that this government will be too concerned about such limitations in the immediate sense in that announcing something will happen eventually (SeaSprite replacement) is suffice for them. Thus my argument is that for a simple, immediate, low fuss, low, bother, low price, low footprint, way of getting some form of capacity result with a government that has its mind and money on other things, is to look at the AW139 option. Not perfect, but allows for more depth and breadth as I said with immediacy.

Buying new won't happen: based on DSCA data, a half-dozen MH-60R cost US$ 1 billion (for South Korea & Denmark).
Yes I cannot see them moving the project forward. The more recent Greek order of seven for USD$600m (NZD900m - ish) is a bit more favourable. Possibly rounded out with the partial commonality of a more basic maritime S-70i utility helicopter. PZL Mielec the Polish offshoot of Sikorsky are now offering the S-70i in the "navalised" Seahawk configuration. However $200m will not go far for a navalised helicopter - even a half dozen remanufactured SH-70B's.

Mr C, have you seen the price Aus Army are paying for those 2 leased AW139s - AU$37 mil over 3 years according to last week's Senate Estimate hearing (ouch!). Like Ngati, while the AW139 is an option - it isn't something that could help 6 Sqn.
Indeed and it just goes to show how expensive it is to operate medium helicopters in a military environment especially over a short lease and when doing business with Toll. Nelson based PHI international (NZ) Ltd who operate the AW139 for the offshore oil industry locally could be worth talking to with either a lease or alternatively a support arrangement post NZDF acquisition.

True it wont help 6 Sqd but will take the pressure off 3 Sqd and may allow in the immediate interim something to provide limited - short stay use aboard the AO and CY by the NH90 - which far from being ideal for shipboard use as it lacks a number of essential items it will be what we are stuck with. As a guide Rotor Trade put the market price of a 10 year old AW-139 configured for offshore use with less than 3000 hours at USD$6.5 million (NZD$10 million) so it is low hanging fruit cost wise not even factoring in the ease of training transition in a type rating sense from the AW109 little brother. Concurrently with some money spent to retro-fit the NH-90 to improve its ship board capabilities. We will never cure that issue fully but mitigate its short comings.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Finding a panacea to the limitations that the NH90 has bought us in the maritime environment and the limits of the Seasprite will take some serious coin and effort. I don't think that this government will be too concerned about such limitations in the immediate sense in that announcing something will happen eventually (SeaSprite replacement) is suffice for them. Thus my argument is that for a simple, immediate, low fuss, low, bother, low price, low footprint, way of getting some form of capacity result with a government that has its mind and money on other things, is to look at the AW139 option. Not perfect, but allows for more depth and breadth as I said with immediacy.

Yes I cannot see them moving the project forward. The more recent Greek order of seven for USD$600m (NZD900m - ish) is a bit more favourable. Possibly rounded out with the partial commonality of a more basic maritime S-70i utility helicopter. PZL Mielec the Polish offshoot of Sikorsky are now offering the S-70i in the "navalised" Seahawk configuration. However $200m will not go far for a navalised helicopter - even a half dozen remanufactured SH-70B's.

Indeed and it just goes to show how expensive it is to operate medium helicopters in a military environment especially over a short lease and when doing business with Toll. Nelson based PHI international (NZ) Ltd who operate the AW139 for the offshore oil industry locally could be worth talking to with either a lease or alternatively a support arrangement post NZDF acquisition.

True it wont help 6 Sqd but will take the pressure off 3 Sqd and may allow in the immediate interim something to provide limited - short stay use aboard the AO and CY by the NH90 - which far from being ideal for shipboard use as it lacks a number of essential items it will be what we are stuck with. As a guide Rotor Trade put the market price of a 10 year old AW-139 configured for offshore use with less than 3000 hours at USD$6.5 million (NZD$10 million) so it is low hanging fruit cost wise not even factoring in the ease of training transition in a type rating sense from the AW109 little brother. Concurrently with some money spent to retro-fit the NH-90 to improve its ship board capabilities. We will never cure that issue fully but mitigate its short comings.
But that's the problem, a continuation of spending money on something that doesn't meet the basic requirements, and it's thinking like this that has got us in the situation that we face. The AW139 is not VfM if you intend taking it to sea, because it will have limitations upon its use. It's just another cheap and nasty option that is a total waste of money, and it's a false economy because down the line you will have expensive maintenance problems. If you are going to spend money on a maritime capable helicopter then you do it properly otherwise you end up with the same problem we currently have with the NH90. This AW139 idea is a half arsed solution that Helen Clark, Cullen, Burton, Goff and co would've pulled. They did it with the NH90 and Project Protector.

The actual object of the exercise is to provide a medium utility rotary wing capability that is able to be operated off ALL flight decks of the RNZN, not just two. That includes, FFG, Manawanui and OPV. It can take the pressure off both 3 Sqn AND 6 Sqn leaving 6 Sqn to concentrate on its core combat role.

Don't claim NZ not being able tto afford the money because NZ does have the money. If the current NZG can afford to spend 3/4 billion dollars on a cycle and walking bridge across the Waitemata Harbour, adjacent to the Auckland Harbour Bridge, then they can certainly afford a fleet of marinised medium utility helicopters for the NZDF.
 

Nighthawk.NZ

Well-Known Member
The actual object of the exercise is to provide a medium utility rotary wing capability that is able to be operated off ALL flight decks of the RNZN, not just two. That includes, FFG, Manawanui and OPV. It can take the pressure off both 3 Sqn AND 6 Sqn leaving 6 Sqn to concentrate on its core combat role.
and have to think of future vessels as well... ;
x2 FFG, x2 OPV, x1 SOPV, x1 AOR, x1 MRV, x1 ESV, x1 DHV

9 decks and remembering the MRV and most likely ESV can carry more that 1 helo if needed for emergencies and HADR
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
But that's the problem, a continuation of spending money on something that doesn't meet the basic requirements, and it's thinking like this that has got us in the situation that we face.
Disagree. It would immediately meet a number of current basic tasking issues such as MAOT, SAR and Domestic HADR and take the immediate strain way from the AW109, NH-90 and SH-2i fleet allowing them to concentrate on their primary focus.

The AW139 is not VfM if you intend taking it to sea, because it will have limitations upon its use. It's just another cheap and nasty option that is a total waste of money, and it's a false economy because down the line you will have expensive maintenance problems.
I quote - "may allow in the immediate interim something to provide limited - short stay use aboard the AO and CY by the NH90 - which far from being ideal for shipboard use as it lacks a number of essential items it will be what we are stuck with."

However, even in some lower level MAOT missions an AW139 configured for all weather operation in a maritime environment (eg; Ex North Sea O&G industry choppers) is suitable for some short stay taskings such as Raoul and Auckland Island resupply or even HADR work off an anchored CY if for example the NH90 fleet is tied up somewhere else.

So the dilemma is - wait nearly a decade for a perfect solution which is the reality you refuse to recognise it seems or at least bridge the interim with some immediacy.

If you are going to spend money on a maritime capable helicopter then you do it properly otherwise you end up with the same problem we currently have with the NH90. This AW139 idea is a half arsed solution that Helen Clark, Cullen, Burton, Goff and co would've pulled. They did it with the NH90 and Project Protector.
You really miss the point sometimes NG. I am not at all saying that this is the panacea to those actual problems. Note I said it was an immediate and interim solution to exisiting problems.

As for the allegation that it is a "a half arsed solution that Helen Clark, Cullen, Burton, Goff and co would've pulled" I would point out the irony in that it is a step toward rectifying their shortcomings in not fully funding Option 5 of the helicopter replacement programme to generate 10 NH-90's and 10 LUH's.

The actual object of the exercise is to provide a medium utility rotary wing capability that is able to be operated off ALL flight decks of the RNZN, not just two. That includes, FFG, Manawanui and OPV. It can take the pressure off both 3 Sqn AND 6 Sqn leaving 6 Sqn to concentrate on its core combat role.
And in the real world this government is not going to suddenly spend $2 Billion + to provide for naval combat and naval support helicopters in sufficient numbers any time before the end of this decade to satisfy you. I can assure you that no Government elected in NZ will actually move the SeaSprite replacement project forward.

Don't claim NZ not being able to afford the money because NZ does have the money. If the current NZG can afford to spend 3/4 billion dollars on a cycle and walking bridge across the Waitemata Harbour, adjacent to the Auckland Harbour Bridge, then they can certainly afford a fleet of marinised medium utility helicopters for the NZDF.
Indeed that is what they have chosen to do. Their reckless spending on non essential things does have a price to pay and that is not spending on what we may see as essential such as defence equipment.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Disagree. It would immediately meet a number of current basic tasking issues such as MAOT, SAR and Domestic HADR and take the immediate strain way from the AW109, NH-90 and SH-2i fleet allowing them to concentrate on their primary focus.



I quote - "may allow in the immediate interim something to provide limited - short stay use aboard the AO and CY by the NH90 - which far from being ideal for shipboard use as it lacks a number of essential items it will be what we are stuck with."

However, even in some lower level MAOT missions an AW139 configured for all weather operation in a maritime environment (eg; Ex North Sea O&G industry choppers) is suitable for some short stay taskings such as Raoul and Auckland Island resupply or even HADR work off an anchored CY if for example the NH90 fleet is tied up somewhere else.

So the dilemma is - wait nearly a decade for a perfect solution which is the reality you refuse to recognise it seems or at least bridge the interim with some immediacy.



You really miss the point sometimes NG. I am not at all saying that this is the panacea to those actual problems. Note I said it was an immediate and interim solution to exisiting problems.

As for the allegation that it is a "a half arsed solution that Helen Clark, Cullen, Burton, Goff and co would've pulled" I would point out the irony in that it is a step toward rectifying their shortcomings in not fully funding Option 5 of the helicopter replacement programme to generate 10 NH-90's and 10 LUH's.

And in the real world this government is not going to suddenly spend $2 Billion + to provide for naval combat and naval support helicopters in sufficient numbers any time before the end of this decade to satisfy you. I can assure you that no Government elected in NZ will actually move the SeaSprite replacement project forward.

Indeed that is what they have chosen to do. Their reckless spending on non essential things does have a price to pay and that is not spending on what we may see as essential such as defence equipment.
It's not about that. It's about suitability.

So you are going to put a civilian helicopter with a 13.8 metre main rotor diameter on the Canterbury and Aotearoa. A helicopter that by the way doesn't have a main or tail rotor folding capability. So how are you going to fit it in the hangar without dismantling the rotor head to remove the blades? A folding rotor capability is engineered specifically to enable the folding of rotors manually or remotely without compromising the integrity of the hub assembly and the individual rotor blades.

If you want something that you can use at sea then reactivate some of the SH-60s in the Boneyard. They're designed for the job and we can upgrade them eventually in our own time.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
So you are going to put a civilian helicopter with a 13.8 metre main rotor diameter on the Canterbury and Aotearoa. A helicopter that by the way doesn't have a main or tail rotor folding capability.
Leonardo offers a retrofitted manual main folding blade option upgrade to commercial operators from the AW139M variant. The tougher landing gear from the A139M is also available an an upgrade. The AW139's certified for operations on/off offshore oil and gas rigs have a reasonable degree to marine weatherisation per EU regs. So for the limited exposed flying hours allocation per annum for that aspect of MOAT tasking ( Flying off the deck of an anchored RNZN vessel to do DOC resupply on an offshore island is well within operational capabilities and parameters - preflight - flight and post flight).

It does not necessarily have to be the AW139. The Bell 412 EPI is also a potential interim and immediate capability enabler as a bridging platform.

If you want something that you can use at sea then reactivate some of the SH-60s in the Boneyard. They're designed for the job and we can upgrade them eventually in our own time.
And a very good idea is that too but - no one will at the cabinet and treasury level will ever entertain in the next few years (with Covid and vastly more interesting pet projects to them) what will be a project much longer, more complicated, more risky and much more expensive.

What part of that cannot you not understand?
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
However, even in some lower level MAOT missions an AW139 configured for all weather operation in a maritime environment (eg; Ex North Sea O&G industry choppers) is suitable for some short stay taskings such as Raoul and Auckland Island resupply or even HADR work off an anchored CY if for example the NH90 fleet is tied up somewhere else.
I don't see any AW139 working offshore, the two main operators in the UK and Norwegian sectors Bristow and CHC use S-92's, I'm a regular at Stavanger, Bergen and Kristiansund Airports, all I see are S-92's with the odd Super Puma mixed in.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't see any AW139 working offshore, the two main operators in the UK and Norwegian sectors Bristow and CHC use S-92's, I'm a regular at Stavanger, Bergen and Kristiansund Airports, all I see are S-92's with the odd Super Puma mixed in.
HNZ use the AW139 down here contracted to Shell-Todd, Kupe and OMV based in the Naki.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
Considering our GDP is up 1.6% not down as they thought it was going to be...

New Zealand GDP up 1.6 percent in latest figures

there should be no cutbacks... oh wait... (that's based on borrowed money right? that still needs to be paid back)
Just remember Helen canned the F16's and dumped the strike wing during an upturn in the economy and unemployment at 3.7% so nothing is sealed in concrete when it comes to defence with any of the current political muppets.
From my point of view defence has been sucked down so much, that they are way short of ever being able to carrying out their primary task, which is to deter aggression or if that fails to actually defend NZ . Currently we have a coast guard and a peacekeeping force with some logistical back up but no defence force.
 

Nighthawk.NZ

Well-Known Member
Just remember Helen canned the F16's and dumped the strike wing during an upturn in the economy and unemployment at 3.7% so nothing is sealed in concrete when it comes to defence with any of the current political muppets.
From my point of view defence has been sucked down so much, that they are way short of ever being able to carrying out their primary task, which is to deter aggression or if that fails to actually defend NZ . Currently we have a coast guard and a peacekeeping force with some logistical back up but no defence force.
Hence my oh wait comment... You preaching to the converted here .. lol
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
Just remember Helen canned the F16's and dumped the strike wing during an upturn in the economy and unemployment at 3.7% so nothing is sealed in concrete when it comes to defence with any of the current political muppets.
From my point of view defence has been sucked down so much, that they are way short of ever being able to carrying out their primary task, which is to deter aggression or if that fails to actually defend NZ . Currently we have a coast guard and a peacekeeping force with some logistical back up but no defence force.
Just to clear up any misconceptions in regard to who I was referring to as political muppets, when referring to defence I think both of the major parties and most of the minor ones come in this category when it comes to Defence, some worst than the others.
 
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