NZDF General discussion thread

Nighthawk.NZ

Well-Known Member
Maybe even arm the P8s properly.
They will have all the infrastructure on the air frame to do so, and according to the DCP2019 will be kept up to date with latest tech... we will only need to acquire the missiles for and when required... (which is BTW "yes" usually to late)

Point is even if we had the missile they wouldn't be flying around with them on every patrol etc... and would only be when push comes to shove... which when we would try and purchase some...
 
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recce.k1

Well-Known Member
Ok just watched the DefMin/Newshub interview from the previous page. I think we all rightly will have different views (particularly negative) and I'm not at all saying that my view is the correct view, but taking the DefMin and his responses at face value I sense there is some sincereness in his thoughts and actions. As in he does want to see Defence (MoD planning/NZDF personnel and assets) playing key roles supporting our wider Pacific "family" and contributing to the international rules based order with other like minded nations we have long time close govt-govt relations with particularly in Asia eg South Korea was brought up (but it would also equally apply to the likes of Singapore, Japan, Malaysia etc) and of course with our historical and long time allies and friends Australia, US, UK, EU/NATO etc.

I think the problem he faces though are: lack of experience and knowledge of how Defence "works" as a whole system (he certainly "gets it" at a subset level eg here is a tank, here is a plane, here is a ship etc, they can be sent to A and/or B and do some good for X period of time ... but perhaps not so much as to how different areas/capabilities are intertwined to produce mass and that there are in fact "missing" parts (capability gaps) be that we once had but lost, or just don't have but need or do have but don't have enough of to sustain things). But to be fair it is typical of many DefMin's not just this one and some previous ones have been absolute shockers. Anyway this is perhaps where Defence (MoD/NZDF) need to talk more broadly about such matters with DefMin Henare (and any future DefMin's) to allow him to start advocating for more (rather than follow the same script eg the 2000's LTDP's which became the 2010's DCP's were mostly a continuation of the force structure envisaged back in the mid/late '90's for a post Cold War/UN peace-keeping/enforcement environment - clearly any 2020's era DCP's now need to focus raising capabilities and better sustaining them for multiple and concurrent taskings and presence, including deployments, forward-basing and homeland defence.

But the next problem, the major domestic problem, is DefMin Henare convincing his Cabinet colleagues of the need to better support Defence (particularly if he is only focused on the requirement at hand). So far he appears to be (mostly) failing eg originally he wanted to send Javelin ATM's to Ukraine but Cabinet rejected that, although to be fair Cabinet's stance has now changed with the sending of elements of the NZ Artillery to the UK to help train the Ukrainians, which makes clearer sense now with the news yesterday that the UK intends to train large numbers of Ukrainian personnel at a fast tempo, so chalk that up as "win" for DefMin Henare and Defence. But we have seen many recent setbacks convincing Cabinet and the Minister of Finance in particular (forget the PM - the Finance Minister is the key brickwall here) such as the SOPV project deferment and the EMAC project vanishing. So the problem here (for the DefMin) is of indifferent caucus colleagues (who due to their life experiences are more focused on other predominantly domestic affairs) and how best to navigate this. However there is also a slight sense of change underway evident in that TV interview, for example in the area of cyber security the DefMin mentioned taking (yet more) plans to Cabinet in the next month or so, unsure Cabinet can defer these sorts of issues for much longer especially with the change in "worldly affairs" and the spotlight on these worldy affairs including part of that spotlight shining NZ's way. I wouldn't be surprised then if during our winter months we see more announcements from Cabinet supporting defence related initiatives (although not necessarily anything "big").

Which leads on to the third problem (or issue) that of international relationships and expectations, which I believe also weakens the DefMin's hand. As I've mentioned before probably the biggest hurdle to NZ having a coherent (and effective) defence and connected foreign policy at the political level is the lack of consultation and therefore commitment, from NZ with its allies, by NZ being excluded from the top table (unless it is bilateral talks, which is the current means). The biggest elephant in the room in particular has been NZ being suspended from ANZUS (and I'm not arguing whether it was justified or not, that's all in the past). I'm saying that isolation has resulted in "anomalies" developing eg NZ has bilateral defence discussions with Australia, and NZ now has bilateral defence discussions the US, but not between all three together. In this day and age (as the world order is being challenged particulary in the Indo-Pacific and now closer to home) this is an absurd state of affairs. This is also probably why there is "no pressure" (or discussions about, when the DefMin is questioned) on why NZ's capabilities are not broad and lethal enough as they once were (as the expectations aren't mostly there,as the likes of the US and Aust has "moved on"). This "anomaly" has also led to the promotion and perceived acceptance/preference of NZ supposedly having "an independent foreign policy", which when put under pressure due to the world order being challenged and rules flouted is revealing the obvious that no, NZ doesn't, because NZ believes in the rules-based system and is willing to help defend it, along with like minded friends and allies.

Putting aside ANZUS for the moment, what could be helpful right now would be some sort of formal (eg) A/NZ/US/Pacific/French relationship (come treaty) which would focus on maritime (and air) domain awareness and protection, from everything from surveilling foreign fishing vessels and other vessels of interest, to providing trained personnel to secure key infrastructure (and perhaps trained as boarding parties when working with A/NZ/US/French OPV/Coast Guard vessels) and to assist with stabalisation efforts when there is domestic unrest and security concerns (I'm saying in many cases PI nations would appreciate the visible presence of help from their "wider family" as well as A/NZ/US/French lead/coordination/support etc).

However even putting those sorts of ideas aside, what may also be helping the DefMin with putting cases to Cabinet is this greater engagement we are now seeing with our Defence Minister, Foregn Affairs Minister and even the Prime Minister with their foreign counterparts (and CCP interest in the Pacific is, ironically for them in terms of unintended consequences, assisting this).

Whilst the Opposition parties are already realising this and making the right noises, there is no way the Govt can continue on the path it has been traveling with Defence (including no major lift in this year's recent budget and deferrals), for them, the Govt, if meaningful change doesn't start showing during the next few months and before the end of the year then I would suggest their credibility will start to be called out not only by our own domestic defence analysts but also by other nations. So it is with interest that we hear that our PM has been invited to an upcoming NATO summit, although we may not hear not much more than the usual offerings and platitudes, the best outcome would be to see a realisation for NZ Govt to play a greater active role in safe guarding the rules based order it must be prepared to do more.
 

JohnJT

Active Member
As said, the Type 31 in RN configuration would be underarmed for the RNZN's main fighting ships. But its base ship, the Arrowhead 140, is sold as configurable to a customer's specifications, & as the Polish version shows, has plenty of space & weight to fit more of everything than Type 31 has.
I like the VLS setup offered to Greece. 36 x Sea Ceptor (via twitter):


It's worth noting that the CAMM ER uses the same launcher as CAMM, just longer canisters for the longer missiles:
The CAMM ER maritime launching system (MLS) is based on the compact design developments by MBDA UK for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 and Type 31 frigates. The CAMM ER MLS solution is functionally identical to the single cells MLS for Type 23 frigates, characterized by a basic but cost effective solution, which sees the single missile launch canister with the same upper chimney assembly of the CAMM, maintaining the same bolting mechanism to the ship through a simple shock mount, without a dedicated launcher system and ancillaries with related weight, power and space requirements. The solution selected for the new UK Type 26 and Type 31 frigates’ MLS is based on a multiple of new six-cell (2×3) modules characterized by a reduced footprint allowing for more missiles to be accommodated in the same space of the Type 23 solution. The Albatros NG MLS is based on the same six-cell baseline solution, except for longer canisters due to the CAMM ER extended length. The modules are spaced to allow canisters inspection.
 
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RubiconNZ

The Wanderer
I agree but i think it needs to be more specific than that and right upfront in how its presented.
1. Protect nz access to sea lanes and ports and the ships that rely on them (more than tokenistic 2 frigates and 4 P-8's) (given supply chain disruptions now is the easiest time to explain the significance of this)
2. Protect nz sovereign territory (P-8's to acf or frigate abm- unsure what but at least spurs the question of what)
3. Protect new zealanders living abroad - no more Thai 2008 hercules breakdowns again (larger pool of military transport aircraft)
4. Civil assistance/hadr
5. Assist allies and global order in times of crisus or war.

Something like this. As it starts to lay out redlines in terms of minimum capability rather than hiding behind vagaries that we have had before.
Indeed providing a “minimum credible defence” never seemed an acceptable stance and even less now and looking to the future.
 

JohnJT

Active Member
Talking hypothetically about the Constellation class (and I agree it ticks many boxes), is the lack of hull mounted sonar an issue?

I know it was fitted to the original FREMM design but does anyone know if it is practical (engineering redesign and cost wise) to fit one to the Constellation class if it wasn't designed for it?
The reasons given for the lack of hull mounted sonar on the Constellation class were improved sea keeping and a quieter hull. A number of changes made to the FREMM design were for improved sea keeping. The USN wants a ship that can go anywhere, in any weather. Another plus for NZ suitability.

It's worth noting that the USN has said the primary mission of the Constellation class is ASW, so they obviously don't think the hull mounted sonar is a significant loss. The towed sonar being fitted ( CAPTAS 4 derivative ) is arguably one of the best sonars in the world.

Also constellation is near enough a 200 person crew isnt it?
I believe 200 is the accommodation size on board. The normal crew size will probably be less than that. For example, the base design ASW FREMM operates with a crew of 133 (+14 for one helo).

The Constellation is AEGIS 10, SPY 6, CEC, 32 cell Mk41 VLS with ESSM II and most likely Standard missiles.
The Constellation class doesn't have any CW illuminators, so it can't guide semi-active missiles, but it is fully compatible with active guided missiles such as SM-2 Blk IIIC and SM-6.
 
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Teal

Member
Quote Reece.k1- "Putting aside ANZUS for the moment, what could be helpful right now would be some sort of formal (eg) A/NZ/US/Pacific/French relationship (come treaty) which would focus on maritime (and air) domain awareness and protection, from everything from surveilling foreign fishing vessels and other vessels of interest, to providing trained personnel to secure key infrastructure (and perhaps trained as boarding parties when working with A/NZ/US/French OPV/Coast Guard vessels) and to assist with stabalisation efforts when there is domestic unrest and security concerns (I'm saying in many cases PI nations would appreciate the visible presence of help from their "wider family" as well as A/NZ/US/French lead/coordination/support etc)."

This a great idea, we have it already , less PI states. Its known as QUADS , not to be confussed with the other one, its managed through the FFA out of the Solomons ironicly and deals with commercial fishers and PI states EEZs . The USCG are the main US service involved , but USN assets have been used. The French out of Tahiti and NCal, Aus and NZ using P3s and Naval Craft. Several Ops and meetings take please every year.
It would be super easy to formalise into a greater security pact.
 

Teal

Member
As far as an ANZAC replacement , i prefer the CSC , based on the T26, but not RN or RAN fit out. Post number 3,246, 3,248 of the RCN thread has all the details. Build them in SKorea.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
I like the VLS setup offered to Greece. 36 x Sea Ceptor (via twitter):


It's worth noting that the CAMM ER uses the same launcher as CAMM, just longer canisters for the longer missiles:

That's interesting. Thanks. I knew the Type 23 solution was chosen because it was easy & cheap, but it's always looked a bit wasteful of space. Nice to see it confirmed that it's been slimmed down for new ships.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The reasons given for the lack of hull mounted sonar on the Constellation class were improved sea keeping and a quieter hull. A number of changes made to the FREMM design were for improved sea keeping. The USN wants a ship that can go anywhere, in any weather. Another plus for NZ suitability.

It's worth noting that the USN has said the primary mission of the Constellation class is ASW, so they obviously don't think the hull mounted sonar is a significant loss. The towed sonar being fitted ( CAPTAS 4 derivative ) is arguably one of the best sonars in the world.
I was under the impression the sonar to be fitted was the AN/SQS-62. This is a lightweight towed array intended for the LCS initially. (LCS not being the quietest sub hunter out there). I think this is more evidence that the combination of SSN's, escorts and aviation provide ASW protection to a task group. A towed array and active VDS is a good piece of kit but the original fit on the FREMM is better in my view.

AN/SQS-62 Variable Depth Sonar | Raytheon Missiles & Defense (raytheonmissilesanddefense.com)

Hull mounted sonars as part of a Multistatic system add considerable value in a distributed system. Australia were looking that this in the late 90's and this work may have been one of the drivers behind Australia's efforts to establish and Integrated undersea surveillance system SEA 5012 phase 1. The RFI for this closed June last year.

CMRE - The Multistatic Sonar Systems (nato.int)
An overview of the multistatic sonar program in Australia | IEEE Conference Publication | IEEE Xplore (sadly I cannot down load the entire article)
 

JohnJT

Active Member
I was under the impression the sonar to be fitted was the AN/SQS-62. This is a lightweight towed array intended for the LCS initially. (LCS not being the quietest sub hunter out there). I think this is more evidence that the combination of SSN's, escorts and aviation provide ASW protection to a task group. A towed array and active VDS is a good piece of kit but the original fit on the FREMM is better in my view.

AN/SQS-62 Variable Depth Sonar | Raytheon Missiles & Defense (raytheonmissilesanddefense.com)
No, the USN made a late decision to switch to the CAPTAS 4 due to it's technical maturity and ease of integration.

The Navy assessed CAPTAS-4 as a low risk VDS option for FFG-62 due to its proven performance, overall technical readiness level, low risk integration with the SQQ-89 ASW combat system, ability to integrate with the frigate platform design and ability to meet the in-yard need date for FFG-62
 
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alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
No, the USN made a late decision to switch to the CAPTAS 4 due to it's technical maturity and ease of integration.


A smart decision in my opinion. Certainly a very capable unit. I still wonder about the claims of a quieter hull with the sonar dome removed.
 

recce.k1

Well-Known Member
The winter edition of Line of Defence magazine is now online. As usual there is a mix of newly written articles, republished articles and advertorials covering a wide range of NZ defence and security topics. Perhaps of interest to our discussions here of late are:

Dr Peter Greener with an updated article on the Govt's defence policy and capability (or lack of) moving forward. He summarises what the Govt has done for Defence in recent years and notes that $4.5b has been committed so far to 12 major defence projects from the $20b defence capability plan (although much of that is earmarked for future acquisitions eg Frigate/OPV/MRV naval vessel replacements and new LPD and SOPV, replacement naval helicopters, new long endurance maritime UAV's etc). He also notes media comments on the Opposition "supporting the idea" to lift defence expenditure.

An article on NZ's contribution to RIMPAC, of possible interest is the mention of "Combat Systems Specialists" being part of the replenishment tanker HMNZS Aotearoa's crew and their function is "track, classify and build a situational awareness picture". But I take it this is with the vessels existing systems rather than a specialised radars and a combat management system etc, if so to what extent is this capability and how resilient is it, if it were to be "targeted" by an adversary's electronic warfare systems etc?

An article by Opposition Defence spokesperson (and former Army reservist) Tim van de Molen. Recently appointed to the role (and after being hospitalised earlier in the year after falling from a height) it looks like he has sufficiently recovered and we finally get to hear his general thoughts on Defence. With the changing global security situation he is calling for a reassessment of NZ's foreign policy, defence priorities and investment "to determine if they are still fit for purpose". Personally I hope any such possible review doesn't waste valuable time tinkering with deprioritising capabilities to save money and deferring projects (like the National Govt's 2010 White Paper and assessments ended up doing), but he is appearing to say the right things such as "defence funding shouldn't be cut".

His investment priorities are the "Information Domain, the Maritime Domain and People". For the former he means cyber, satellites and" drones". This aligns with current defence capability project planning but he is also talking about dual military/commercial applications where warranted which would also strengthen local defence industry and jobs. Will he also be open to enhancing for example the likes of the P-8 capabilities and other such like? For the maritime domain he is saying some very interesting things such as "committing now to putting additional capability on the water" and "bolstering the fleet". Sounds like we have a potential DefMin who better understands the importance of supporting and sustaining the maritime dimension, but also importantly, recognises that it takes years to plan for, build and commission naval vessels (as well as recruiting and training crews to be proficient) in other words the investment needs to start "now" to realise this all coming together in say 10 years time (or perhaps earlier where and if practical). This is a very positive sign.

In a visit to RNZAF Base Ohakea as well as meeting the base commander apparently he also met the Chief of Air Force and Secretary of Defence, this is also another positive sign that shows his visit and presence was sufficient enough to warranty the time of the CAF and SecDef together.

There is an interesting article (presumably an advertorial) on the MQ-9B SeaGuardian and its application to Japan. The article mentions that Japan was trialing the SeaGuardian and was pleased enough to start operating it (presumably sooner rather than later). All I will say is the NZG needs to get onto it and sort out this capability "now" (not 2030 as per DCP19), even as an interim purchase of say only 2 or 3 (and support systems) to allow Defence to become proficient with its operation (and work out any deficiencies before the real/big investments proceed). If the manufacturer General Atomics AS had the smarts it would bring one "down under" to NZ smart-prompt for a demonstration tour (similar to how Beechcraft brought a T-6 Texan down this way ten years ago for the Air Force to experience it in NZ conditions, which then resulted in a purchase).

There is another interesting article on Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions (RNM) and their new defence manufacturing facility in Queensland producing 155mm projectiles. Interesting to note that 50% of its output will be exported to other allied nations. So as well as sustaining the ADF's needs, jobs and tax income is benefiting Australians and their Govt. As the RNZA's light guns come up for replacement in the future is there an opportunity for them to move to a 155mm howitzer or SPG in order to benefit from having ready access to the ammunition? Or is it likely the NZ Army will follow the British Army's lead with their 105mm light gun replacements?

In another article former navy commander Andrew Watts outlines a hypothetical foreign assessment of NZ's Naval capabilities. He notes the realism that expectations will be tempered by the lack of numbers in the present fleet to sustain overseas operations (let alone availability), despite some good capabilities on offer. But of interest he suggests that lack of additional high end NZ combat capabilities (eg not having additional Frigate numbers) could be compensated by also having "specialised combat capabilities" that would be suitable for deployment to regional choke points thus freeing up the regional power's larger combatants for higher end taskings (eg theatre ASW or area air defence). Presumably he is thinking of suitably equipped Corvette type vessels, operating within a restricted footprint (not blue water etc) but with suitable sensor systems and armament, or perhaps something else?

Finally former DefMin Wayne Mapp makes the case for defence expenditure of 2% gdp and helpfully outlines where the additional funding could be spent on and on what capabilities across the Navy, Air Force and Army. In essence it is to strengthen existing capabilities which appears to be both practical and sensible i.e. it better sustains existing capabilities for deployments and general operations, de-risking policy failures.

He briefly notes that funding at 2% of gdp won't introduce new capabilities in the form of an Air Combat Force. I think he is largely correct, if we look at the pressures Defence faced even when spending was previously at 2% (or slightly higher) in previous decades (eg the ACF was never properly equipped during the Cold War, although that improved significantly with the late '80's/early '90's "Kahu" upgrades). However I will write a separate post on this because I also believe it will also be a strategic failure not to plan for the reintroduction of an ACF capability in the longer term with the changing global security situation (or actually the alternative steps that can be taken for an interim capability with the limited funding currently available at 1.5% of gdp or to be potentially available at 2% of gdp).

 
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htbrst

Active Member
This article is a few months old - apologies if I've missed it being posted in the past - but is interesting from the point-of-view of NZ's maritime awareness. The article makes no mention of defence, but it was created out of government funding

 

recce.k1

Well-Known Member
Talking about awareness, although airspace awareness rather than maritime, Spain's Indra company has signed an agreement with Airways NZ to install three primary 3D radar systems (PSR3D) and three secondary surveillance radar systems (MSSR) to replace existing systems at Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.



Indra also plays a key part of the NATO air defence network.



Due to NZ's relative isolation and lack of air threats, since the second world war there hasn't been a need for Defence to operate its own radar systems, but I'm wondering does anyone think there could there be scenarios where Defence could be operating similar systems or electronic defence systems nowadays as global/regional stability is facing increasing challenges (perhaps to protect key infrastructure)?

Thinking more from the perspective of having personnel trained and proficient which takes time, so could be small steps rather anything grandiose and costly (and of course one would have to define what the potential threats are to justify such a suggestion in the first place).

But if anything presumably Defence would prioritise systems that are mobile/deployable particularly to provide early warning or support of deployed elements, and linking anything to maritime domain awareness could also be advantageous perhaps.
 

Gooey

Well-Known Member
Nothing to worry about ladies & gents, as Minister Henare fronts the FAD&T Select Committee on Thursday, in Wellington. I imagine with the new mid-winter, long weekend approaching, questions were short, very functionary, and all over by lunch-time.

We've got a job as the Government to continue to assess the needs and capabilities of the Defence Force moving forward, and I've made it clear that we will continue to do that. There is work underway, of which I'll be able to say more about in the very near future,” he said

I'm not too sure why he doesn't know about moving forward now, or is unable to say what he is doing, to this select committee but never mind, everyone including our AM Short (4+ years now in role?) seems happy enough to coast along waiting for someone else to look after NZ security.


Call me an old guy, who has an obsession about national security and what historically happens to small, smug nations will an inability to critically examine their place in a large shark-invested-custard-bowl with new moneyed-up players who have a healthy disrespect for jaw-jaw, other than on their own terms, but I see nothing from DEFSEC on:
1. recognition of our changing strategic environment in the Pacific from benign to competitive;
2. the existing NZDF force structure of un-armed neutrality ISO the UN is sufficient for these changing time; and,
3. getting on to our hands and knees and begging to be taken back into ANZUS, so that we have formal protection from Uncle Sam and do have priority over weapons and training.

chin-chin
 

Gooey

Well-Known Member
Due to NZ's relative isolation and lack of air threats, since the second world war there hasn't been a need for Defence to operate its own radar systems, but I'm wondering does anyone think there could there be scenarios where Defence could be operating similar systems or electronic defence systems nowadays as global/regional stability is facing increasing challenges (perhaps to protect key infrastructure)?
...
Some sort of national Integrated Air and Missile Defence System, I'd assume is very low priority for NZ b/c our base level is so low.

It'd be interesting to see what we did in WWII? In the Australian War Memorial, I saw a illustration of their radar system which was huge.

We have a massive job-load of work, time, and treasure, to get our forces up to a standard where we are not sacrificing young mens life's ala Gallipoli, Somme, Greek and Crete.

I agree that the most likely new radar system would be some sort of deployable, shortish range AD system v UAS-FJ-missiles, and cuing for MANPADS.
 

recce.k1

Well-Known Member
Nothing to worry about ladies & gents, as Minister Henare fronts the FAD&T Select Committee on Thursday, in Wellington. I imagine with the new mid-winter, long weekend approaching, questions were short, very functionary, and all over by lunch-time.
Here's the recording of the hearing if anyone wants to comment on it (I haven't fully watched it yet but briefly noticed the DefMin is talking about a new Govt defence assessment, whatever that entails).

It'd be interesting to see what we did in WWII? In the Australian War Memorial, I saw a illustration of their radar system which was huge.
Read and weep when we compare what we achieved, did and had compared to nowadays! Granted nowadays as well as our Frigates being better equipped we are served with superior civilian technologies courtesy of Airways NZ (and more extensive harbour/coastal monitoring), but presumably these are more vulnerable to jamming - ideally Defence needs technologies that are more resilient so we are not blinded, meaning both fixed systems as well as deployable systems? As the DefMin notes in FAD&T hearing we are now in challenging times, and with supply chains being vulnerable perhaps now is the time to start doing more including self-reliance and increasing personnel intakes and developing new skillsets and R&D etc?






 
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