NZDF General discussion thread

kiwi in exile

Active Member
This is indeed pretty much the case, at least as far as sanctions go. My own view is that the much ballyhooed independent foreign policy is functionally nothing much more than an accomodation of amoral boomer lefties and amoral righties looking for the most expedient way to make money from any source to fund their projects by not offending any passing dictatorship.
In some respects its like the Blackadder episode where Edmund is pimping out Baldrick on the docks to pay off debts, Labour and National had a sign over NZ saying "get it here " and soon China was whispering sweet nothing's in our ear.
I see NZs 'independant' 'foreign policy' as merely a rhetorical device to be deployed in lieu of any actual real foreign policy announcements and it has feel good value for the electorate. For those familiar with John Clarks australian work i always thought Jacinda, Nania, Peeni etc talking about NZs indep FP sounds like a Clark and Dawe skit.
 

ddxx

Active Member
The opportunities to reduce procurement, sustainment and training costs across the board are there if Australia and New Zealand continue to support and enhance the existing Closer Defence Relations agreement. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Take the P8s as an example - Should’ve been collectively bulk ordered, with shared training and a common pool spares and parts.

Economies of scale can greatly reduce costs, but we continue to overlook such opportunities even though the groundwork already exists.
 

Gooey

Well-Known Member
ddxx

Yes its an interesting question. While there are always 'system' difference, for example the PC-21 v T-6 decisions, the lack of CDR is to me indicative of the growing apart of ADF and NZDF. Not at the tactical level were personal contacts remain close, when allowed, but certainly at the operational and in many senses strategic levels.

This is highlighted by the ACF decision, decades ago. Look how this has effected the different capabilities now of the RAAF and RNZAF. Recent examples being the P-8, which I understand at the operational level is not closely liaised between 92WG RAAF and 5 Sqn RNZAF as well as the training domain you highlighted. Furthermore, NZ decision to go alone with 'navigator' training and splitting from the RAAF Base East Sale combined training is rather sad.

For the navies, a combined Hunter Class FFG build would have allowed significant NZ industrial content (like the ANZAC FFH build, NZ could even have inflated its numbers (ala da Germans for Eurofighter and A400) to game the system) and have ended up with a tailored first-tier boat squadron for our region that had extensive operational, training, local infrastructure and employment benefits.

The lack of a growing CDR is, to me, a clear display of actual CoA and NZG distancing; instead of what should be a close and strong ANZAC relationship.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
We used to play in the same game, by the same rules Now, thanks to the decisions (or non decisions) of successive NZ Governments we don’t. That’s more than regrettable; but when the objects to which one is striving have altered as much as they now seem to have the future potential for CDR, above the tactical level, are likely to become more and more limited. That’s certainly not what this side of the Tasman wants, but it’s reality given the directions of the two countries at present.
 

Gooey

Well-Known Member
An interesting RNZ Opinion piece on the PM's recent foreign affairs outputs to NATO and UK Chatham House:

- AT NATO last week, she seemed parochial with a home audience more in mind and also out of her depth:
-- not acknowledging that hard power is now a new normal in national security considerations
-- again, recognising that the UN is not a safe security pillar and to quote our Foreign Minister has 'failed'
-- that the Ukrainian War is not 'democracy v autocracy' or a precedence for rearmament
- At UK CH, I watched the PM on Youth Tube:
-- whilst stating that we are a pacific nation, did not acknowledge our contribution to WWI or II, or that 70% of Kiwis are of European race let alone a shared Colonial history with the UK
-- her history time-line starts in 1980s which explains a lot about her perspectives
-- she seemed to avoid the 'C' word

My own thoughts are that Ardern seems to be playing the crowd, depending on the venue. In the US she was chummy without committing to anything while in NATO/UK last week she was out to trade stuff with EU & UK (ala Stuart M and "get it here") plus not upset the CCP too much.

As we head towards the Pacific Forum over the next couple of weeks it certainly is interesting times that we live in, with:
- long-term Chinese encroachment in the Pacific,
- a massively expanding PLA-N,
- degenerating autocracy norms,
- NZ MSM with entry level knowledge and bandwidth (eg. the attached piece does not mention NZDF),
- NZG with little national security smarts, and
- NZDF with few if any warrior-leaders to advise on the errors of NZs ways.

Most depressingly, I see zero future appetite for NZG to recognise defence as a valid national security option or the complete lack of our current national war fighting capabilities.

Ka kite anō
 

Alberto32

New Member
Anyone ever thought of a heavy lift Helicopter squadron, such as Chinooks for the Airforce , and probably CH-53K King Stallions for the Navy?
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Anyone ever thought of a heavy lift Helicopter squadron, such as Chinooks for the Airforce , and probably CH-53K King Stallions for the Navy?
It would be nice if the NZDF had a heavylift helicopter capability, the reality is that it currently does not have sufficient medium lift. It would be far better IMO if the NZDF first obtained sufficient helicopters to meet existing medium lift needs, before attempting to raise an entirely new helicopter capability.

I'd like to look at a GNSS for CANZUK, to operate with independence from the GPS system by the USA.
There are currently four global NavSat systems AFAIK, with the EU's Galileo GNSS being the newest to enter operational service in ~2014 with an estimated cost of €10 bil. IIRC. Given that the EU has a space agency, the ESA, with launch facilities and capabilities... I suspect that it would be technically feasible for a CANZUK alliance to develop and deploy their own GNSS, as a matter of practicality it would be impossible. The satellite system itself would most likely cost billions to develop, and either more resources would be required to develop an indigenous deployment capability or the alliance would be dependent on the launch capabilities of other nations/multi-national organizations.

The eyewatering costs which would be involved would naturally lead to people asking the question, "what value is there in developing yet another GNSS?" At this point given the operational capabilities of both GPS and Galileo, I would describe development of any additional GNSS by non-adversary nations as a prestige programme, rather than something which would deliver any new capabilities of real value.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Anyone ever thought of a heavy lift Helicopter squadron, such as Chinooks for the Airforce , and probably CH-53K King Stallions for the Navy?
All NZDF Aviation assets are operated by the RNZAF including the SH-2G for the Frigates. So any Heavy lift Helicopters would be operated as one Sqn so what is the point of going 2 types. The RNZN has maybe 2 ships that a Chinook size helicopter could land on and I can't be sure about that. A Sqn of 4-5 Chinooks for the NZDF does makes some sense.
 

pussertas

Active Member
Purchasing fighters would only be part of the budget needed to develop and maintain an air combat arm. Pilots and groundcrew would need to be recruited and trained, a stockpile of suitable weapons would be needed, and the complete support infrastructure, including spare parts, hangars, radar control and reporting units, etc, would need to be provided.

If a future government decided to re-establish an air combat force I would suggest that as a starter the MB339s could be reactivated to maintain the fast jet skills of its present pilots and begin training a new generation. These aircraft could also provide fleet and army support. If restoring the MB339s is too difficult a modern turboprop trainer like the PC21 could achieve the same aims. Some pilots could be attached to RAAF units to gain experience in advanced jets and at the end of the decade NZ could perhaps offer to take over the FA-18Fs when the RAAF replaces them with a fourth F-35 squadron. Maybe a good deal could be struck as I am certain Australia would regard a RNZAF squadron of Super Hornets as a valuable asset in the Region.

Cheers
By the time the RAAF is ready to replace it;s Super Hornets they will be a clapped out piece of junk.
 

Alberto32

New Member
This current NZ government is a security threat, that obviously
All NZDF Aviation assets are operated by the RNZAF including the SH-2G for the Frigates. So any Heavy lift Helicopters would be operated as one Sqn so what is the point of going 2 types. The RNZN has maybe 2 ships that a Chinook size helicopter could land on and I can't be sure about that. A Sqn of 4-5 Chinooks for the NZDF does makes some sense.
I guess that with the 2 types, is that you'd be wanting a navalised heavy lift helicopter squadron, as well as a land based, with at least having a helicopter to cope with the sea and the conditions as well as salt corrosion resistance, and reduce pressure on the Chinook flight crews while offshore etc.
 

Alberto32

New Member
This current NZ government is a security threat, that obviously

I guess that with the 2 types, is that you'd be wanting a navalised heavy lift helicopter squadron, as well as a land based, with at least having a helicopter to cope with the sea and the conditions as well as salt corrosion resistance, and reduce pressure on the Chinook flight crews while offshore etc.
I do think that we could increase our medium lift helicopter resources, especially at a naval level. We might be seeing some news soon, seeing now that the situation in the South Pacific has changed.
 

Alberto32

New Member
All NZDF Aviation assets are operated by the RNZAF including the SH-2G for the Frigates. So any Heavy lift Helicopters would be operated as one Sqn so what is the point of going 2 types. The RNZN has maybe 2 ships that a Chinook size helicopter could land on and I can't be sure about that. A Sqn of 4-5 Chinooks for the NZDF does makes some sense.
Maybe we could take on a few MRH-90s, that Australia have now rejected. Seems that we got their Sea Sprites to work.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
ddxx

Yes its an interesting question. While there are always 'system' difference, for example the PC-21 v T-6 decisions, the lack of CDR is to me indicative of the growing apart of ADF and NZDF. Not at the tactical level were personal contacts remain close, when allowed, but certainly at the operational and in many senses strategic levels.

This is highlighted by the ACF decision, decades ago. Look how this has effected the different capabilities now of the RAAF and RNZAF. Recent examples being the P-8, which I understand at the operational level is not closely liaised between 92WG RAAF and 5 Sqn RNZAF as well as the training domain you highlighted. Furthermore, NZ decision to go alone with 'navigator' training and splitting from the RAAF Base East Sale combined training is rather sad.

For the navies, a combined Hunter Class FFG build would have allowed significant NZ industrial content (like the ANZAC FFH build, NZ could even have inflated its numbers (ala da Germans for Eurofighter and A400) to game the system) and have ended up with a tailored first-tier boat squadron for our region that had extensive operational, training, local infrastructure and employment benefits.

The lack of a growing CDR is, to me, a clear display of actual CoA and NZG distancing; instead of what should be a close and strong ANZAC relationship.
CDR was an aspiration that both sides talked about at the political level but weren't / aren't that keen on following because they have differing political and national objectives. Australia is welded to America's hip and NZ has a different view of the world. Many but not all of our vies are similar and in some areas we have different ways of doing things which in some cases has worked to our mutual advantage.

The reasons why we most like won't participate in the Hunter Class build is because the cost will be too expensive for us, and the ANZAC Build left a bad taste in the CoA mouth when our govt reneged on the 3rd and 4th ships. At around the same time the Clark govt axed the F-16 deal and not long after axed our Air Combat Force, so why should the CoA trust a NZG in such a program now? I certainly wouldn't.
An interesting RNZ Opinion piece on the PM's recent foreign affairs outputs to NATO and UK Chatham House:

- AT NATO last week, she seemed parochial with a home audience more in mind and also out of her depth:
-- not acknowledging that hard power is now a new normal in national security considerations
-- again, recognising that the UN is not a safe security pillar and to quote our Foreign Minister has 'failed'
-- that the Ukrainian War is not 'democracy v autocracy' or a precedence for rearmament
- At UK CH, I watched the PM on Youth Tube:
-- whilst stating that we are a pacific nation, did not acknowledge our contribution to WWI or II, or that 70% of Kiwis are of European race let alone a shared Colonial history with the UK
-- her history time-line starts in 1980s which explains a lot about her perspectives
-- she seemed to avoid the 'C' word

My own thoughts are that Ardern seems to be playing the crowd, depending on the venue. In the US she was chummy without committing to anything while in NATO/UK last week she was out to trade stuff with EU & UK (ala Stuart M and "get it here") plus not upset the CCP too much.

As we head towards the Pacific Forum over the next couple of weeks it certainly is interesting times that we live in, with:
- long-term Chinese encroachment in the Pacific,
- a massively expanding PLA-N,
- degenerating autocracy norms,
- NZ MSM with entry level knowledge and bandwidth (eg. the attached piece does not mention NZDF),
- NZG with little national security smarts, and
- NZDF with few if any warrior-leaders to advise on the errors of NZs ways.

Most depressingly, I see zero future appetite for NZG to recognise defence as a valid national security option or the complete lack of our current national war fighting capabilities.

Ka kite anō
You just wouldn't know unfortunately. I wonder if Uncle Helen rung her up and gave her a bollocking? I sometimes get the impression that the Cabinet Minister has a sugar fix, gets idea, and 20 minutes later it's govt policy. The NZ MSM is being funded by the government at the moment, so make of that what you will.
We used to play in the same game, by the same rules Now, thanks to the decisions (or non decisions) of successive NZ Governments we don’t. That’s more than regrettable; but when the objects to which one is striving have altered as much as they now seem to have the future potential for CDR, above the tactical level, are likely to become more and more limited. That’s certainly not what this side of the Tasman wants, but it’s reality given the directions of the two countries at present.
It comes from both sides of the ditch and things aren't always rosy between the two govts. There are niggles between us and the Australian govt over treatment of NZ citizens living in Australia and the 501s treatment.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Maybe we could take on a few MRH-90s, that Australia have now rejected. Seems that we got their Sea Sprites to work.
Welcome to the Forum. Please not that one line posts are not allowed so please refrain from making them. It's all explained in the rules so please read them.
Anyone ever thought of a heavy lift Helicopter squadron, such as Chinooks for the Airforce , and probably CH-53K King Stallions for the Navy?
Heavy lift helos is something that some of us have discussed and it would have to be probably four CH-47F Chinook. The CH-53K still hasn't achieved IOC with the USMC and it's very expensive to own and operate. It's to risky and expensive for us, plus it's just to much helicopter.

We could look at taking say six of the Australian MRH, flying four and using the remaining two for spares. That would give us 12 NH90 for 3 Sqn and make it more of a viable capability. We also could look at acquiring a helo like the AW139M that fits in between the AW109 and the NH90 and be usable both at sea and ashore because its marinised. It can also be armed and offers further options. But it gives us the capability to perform taskings that are to big for the AW109 and the NH90 is either unable to or it's to much helicopter for. The AW139M will fit in the current OPV hangars where as the NH90 won't. That in turn frees the Naval Combat Helicopter up for its core mission which is ASW & ASuW missions. It also can operate with 1NZSFR in their anti terrorism role and their SF role. One advantage of it, unless it's armed, it doesn't look like a military helicopter.

Just some thoughts.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Whilst this speaks about the RNZAF B757, it is also about NZDF overall and it's not nice. It's paywalled unfortunately and I won't be copying and pasting the whole article because of copyright law. Do like the article title by the way. Grandad’s army; why our air force planes can’t fly | Politik

"With the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers due to meet on Friday with regional security issues at the top of their agenda, New Zealand’s Defence chiefs have given a revealing account of the state of the country’s defence forces. Their account raises real questions about the credibility of New Zealand’s claim to have a viable Defence presence in the Pacific in the event of any conflict. Present equipment is ageing and becoming more difficult to maintain, while an acute shortage of personnel means that purchasing new capabilities is having to be deferred."​

We all are aware of both the deferment of new capabilities and that there are personnel shortages. It's the first time that I have heard the head shed describe it as acute though, so the situation must be very serious especially when the government refuses to release the recruiting data.

"A measure of the age and state of our defence assets came when the vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Vice Marshall Tony Davies, last week told Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee that on the Prime Minister’s recent trip to Singapore and Japan, the Airforce 757 VIP aircraft had managed to fly five legs with her on board without reporting a fault. “That’s not normal,” he said."​

“That’s not normal,” when talking about the B757 flying five legs fault free is a very telling remark especially being mad at a Select Committee Meeting open to the public. These aircraft were supposed to be replaced in 2025 and the way things are going maybe sooner. But it's not just them, it's other defence equipment as well.

"The lamentable state of the two 757s is echoed across the Defence force by other assets, particularly the five 57-year-old C130 Hercules transport aircraft operated by the RNZAF. “It’s very old, and we’ve got corrosion and other issues with it,” said Short. “ And so one of the airframes, for instance, was actually out of service for 11 months well past the operating life of that particular airframe. “But we are managing that, and I think as of today, we’ve got three airframes available for tasking.” The Government has committed to replacing the Hercules fleet, and five new aircraft will begin arriving in 2024, with the entire fleet operating from 2025."
He goes on to say later:

Davies explained that because of the way funding for the air force had been organised over the years; planes were left to the very last before they were overhauled and updated. “If you look back and think in the past, we bought the P3 in 1966; the next upgrade for the P3 was in 1982, and then we did another upgrade to the aircraft in 2005,” he said. “That’s the way we did defence capability in the past. “We would buy something; wait for it to deteriorate to a sad state and be like 15, 20 years after we bought it, and then we’d have this big leap and spend a lot of money and then it wastes away again. “So I’d characterise that was how we used to do it.” So now, the Air Force has entered into a contract with the US Air Force which means it will be part of their system of continual upgrade. That would mean we’re being upgraded every two or three years."​

Not a very good way to do things and my question would be, who decided this was the way to do things? RNZAF / Defence or government and Treasury?

"Defence Minister Peeni Henare has declined to give National’s Defence spokesperson, Tim van der Meulen, the number targets for its current recruitment drive — which may suggest that they are substantial. But Davies told National’s Gerry Brownlee at the Committee that a decision to defer an ice-strengthened southern patrol vessel for the Navy was because the Defence Force was stretched managing the $5.6 billion procurement of 43 Bushmaster vehicles for the army; the four P3 aircrafts, and the five replacement Hercules as well as a substantial upgrade to the Te Kaha frigate. “We have taken already the initial business case to cabinet on the Southern Ocean patrol vessel, and we were due to bring back a detailed business case late last year,” said Davies. “From our side, we were also looking at the challenges we were having to projects in delivery, particularly all those impacts that Covid was having on us. “And we looked to focus our workforce on ensuring the delivery of that $5.6 billion that was already invested in. “And so that was a conscious decision of us just to put on hold the Southern Ocean patrol vessels due to the fact of us wanting to have more people working on the challenges that we were seeing with the projects. “So it’s a deferral at the moment.”
But previously, Henare has suggested that funding might become a factor in defence procurement. In July 2021, he told the Committee that whilst projects had not been cut from the 2019 Defence Capability Plan, it would be redrafted to align with Government priorities because of fiscal constraints due to the cost of the pandemic. The Select Committee highlighted in its report that the Minister said he was working with the Minister of Finance on reviewing the plan. And in March this year, Michael Swain, deputy secretary for Defence Policy and Planning at the Ministry, told Reuters: “Due to the impact Covid has had on the fiscal environment and emerging personnel pressures from other projects, this work has been deferred.” The World Bank reported that in 2020 New Zealand spent 1.56 per cent of its GDP on Defence. ACT is calling for that to be raised to two per cent, and National Party members approved a remit at a recent regional conference calling for the same target. ... Moving to two per cent of GDP a year would add another one billion to the Defence spending, still less than health, education or transport. And though Australia may not have raised the spending level with Henare, it is a constant niggle between the two countries that Australia spends $48.6 billion and New Zealand spends $2.5 billion.
That is why our equipment is so old and unreliable." (Emphasis mine)​

Richard Harman the article's author is a long time political journo and been around the Wellington beltway for decades. He's written a reasonably good article here laying out the case using the B757 as the exemplar. This is more ammo for the cause and it will increase the pressure on the government when they are 15 - 17 months out from an election. They don't like being forced into a debate about defence because they don't like defence and this is just creating more pressure for them to go where they don't want to go.
 

Gooey

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ngatimozart.

The anchoring of P-8 development with USN and RAAF et al spiral growth is, I understand, essential for a system-of-systems/software aeroplane like the Poseidon. There is plenty of news about additional weapons, large canoe radar pods, and further integration with Trident type UAS that presumably will be part of regular NAVAIR Project Office software patches. This is to be encouraged for 5 Sqn compatibility with our Allies as it not only gets away from system obsolescence and operational inefficiencies but also the 15-20 year big-bang/high risk system updates which have often resulted in cost/time overruns (eg. C-130H(NZ), ANZACs FSU, 757s). Also resulted in orphan fleets with costly logistics, training, and reliability. If we could only do the same with C-130J and ditch the plastic-zombi 90's/ancient SH-2G(I) wokka's for war capable 60M/R!

The Richard Harman piece is good b/c at least one NZ MSM has finally understood the deficiencies of NZDF capabilities. If you like the 'what'. This does not explain the 'why' and far more importantly the 'so what'.

To my mind this is even more discouraging than the current lack of war fighting hard power. Without a political recognition of the importance of integrated national security and a professional NZDF warrior class to advice and guide (disbanded, sacked, and weeded out since the 3rd/4th frigate and ACF), we really are stuck with a continuous cycle of inwards looking nationalism ('fiercely independent' and anti-nuclear) gobbledegook which really does believe that history starts in the 1980s and that we can talk nice to both US/Australia and CCP. The difference in ANZAC defence vote says everything.

The lack of urgency, as displayed by all the participants both civilian and military at the FA, D, & T select committee, is beyond criminal. If I wasn't a firm believer in the chaos theory, I'd swear it was deliberate sabotage, but nether-the-less continue to weep anyway.
 
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