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Royal New Zealand Air Force

Discussion in 'Air Force & Aviation' started by Lucasnz, Jul 17, 2006.

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  1. Jezza

    Jezza Member

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    I think 6 x C130J-30 would be a wise move.
    Proven product with easy availability.
    Conversion from H to J model would be small, compared to converting crews from the Herc to the A400M. Oh and no bugs to iron out.
     
  2. vonnoobie

    vonnoobie Active Member

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    Realistically neither one would happen, While the argument could be made that NZ has to invest in the NZDF quite simply the political fight and civilian support just doesnt exist. As it sits you will be lucky to replace everything on a one for one basis as there will be some to point out that 2 x A400's and 3 - 4 x C295's equal out the capability of the 5 x C-130's so that is all that will be needed.

    In the end it all comes down to how much the politicians will budget towards it, I'd say realistically with the political climate 3 - 4 A400's is about as good as you will get (plus C295's and MRTT's).
     
  3. RegR

    RegR Well-Known Member

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    The thing is this will not solve one of the major limitations of the current fleet that has already been identified by govt which is the organic transportation of our outsize/overweight kit, namely NZLAV and now NH90 (mainly) any distance of practical use. These will solve some issues such as availbility, reliability and to a degree lift but still not quite ticking all the boxes and quite a major one at that.

    This could be somewhat solved in conjunction with the remaining whitetail but then still leaves another issue in the medium lifter gap that is already noted with the current C130 fleet and I highly doubt they will want to support a 3 type fleet of essentially the same capability (C17, C130j, C27/C295).

    I think 4 A400 and a similar number of C295 would be more beneficial and practical for 40 Sqn and cover our bases more adequately ie lift what we need to lift where we need to operate most efficiently for our needs.

    C295 also has flow on synergies for a similar MPA fleet in 5 Sqn although still not sold on a direct replacement for the current P3K2 but more complimentry. If only airbus had progressed and matured its A319 MPA then it truly could have been a single family replacement package across the board.

    Timings, funding and options will tell but these are some big ticket items coverving off major capabilities (arguably most important) that will see us into the next 50 years and therefore some hard decisions need to be made, don't mess this up.
     
  4. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    http://airforce.mil.nz/downloads/pdf/airforce-news/afn177.pdf

    The first Air Force News of 2016 is out. The only thing that caught my eye was this para in the CAF's intro.

    If self-deployment to the Pacific is deemed effective, will this reduce the need for a larger airlifter than the C130?
     
  5. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    Airbus Fires Top A400M Manager As Deliveries Continue to Lag

    The A400 programme is still struggling to ramp up production, although the headline of this piece is a bit misleading. Last year Airbus parachuted a manager from the (highly successful) commercial aviation side into the military aviation plant in Seville to sort out production delays. He reshuffled the top team there on arrival, and appears to have moved on one of the senior managers for failing to meet production targets.

    In a way, the whole mess stems from the delays in getting the A400 into production, which meant partner nations are stuck with pretty worn-out transport fleets. With France fighting various bush wars in Africa and the RAF also at a high operational tempo, neither is in a mood to accept further delays. Germany, despite its military being largely base-bound, has chosen this moment to spit the dummy and demand hefty compensation for delivery delays and lack of full operational capability. Turkey, meanwhile, seems eager to pick a fight with Europe over any excuse, while Airbus really can't afford to miss delivering the final two (of four) aircraft to Malaysia this year, as it is the only true export customer.

    All the above want their planes RIGHT BLOODY NOW, and Seville and (especially) the many subcontractors just can't keep up. None of this has any real bearing on the quality of the A400 as an aircraft, but it does mean that production slots are extremely tight for the next 2-3 years.

    Given the Minister has hinted that the RNZAF's C130s can keep flying until around 2022 (I'm sure I saw that somewhere recently), the above is probably of little consequence. More important will be getting reliable feedback from the initial operators of the aircraft on how well it performs, particularly with regard to reliability and running costs.
     
  6. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    No because the NH90 is only one piece of kit that is out sized for the C130. Also what if the NH90 has to be deployed further afield, for example, PNG, East Timor etc., at short notice or Canterbury, or its successor is not deploying. The C130s days as a strategic airlifter for the NZDF are basically over because it no longer is capable of lifting all of our gear strategically and a lot if the defence gear is getting larger, size wise and heavier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  7. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to think you are right, but...

    The ability of NZ to independently carry out HADR operations in the Pacific is one Defence activity that even the Greens won't dare argue with.

    Deploying NH90s (or other equipment) further afield is only likely to take place in a coalition operation, which will probably include members with a significant airlift capability. It could be argued that if they want us to take part, they can help us get there. Additionally, such operations are likely to have longer lead-in times, meaning leased transport becomes feasible.

    I think the case for a 'larger lifter' still remains strong, but having the NH90's perceived as being able to self-deploy to the Pacific may make it harder to convince the public.
     
  8. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    Meanwhile, on the surveillance front...

    https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/imps-news/singapore-airshow-2020-will-be-end-p-8-purchase-sw/

    I'd take the report with a grain or two of salt - for Boeing the best time for an order is always 'now'. But if the US procurement of P-8s really does end in 2020, it will force a hard decision on NZ.

    At present, the expectation seems to be that the P-3Cs will run until the mid-2020s. That gives time to renew the transport fleet before having to unearth the chequebook for surveillance aircraft.

    I'm sure RNZAF's preferred option is the P-8. But if that is deemed unaffordable, there are a variety of choices.
    Boeing has the MSA - the P-8's surveillance systems mounted in a business jet (without armaments).
    Airbus has the C295, which could double as an affordable tactical transport.
    Saab has the Swordfish system, customisable on a variety of systems.
    https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/imps-news/singapore-airshow-swordfish-addresses-growing-thre/
    Israel's Elta have likewise fitted surveillance radars to business jets.

    No shortage of choices, but it will be a challenge reconciling what NZ wants with what we can afford to pay for.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  9. RegR

    RegR Well-Known Member

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    Self deploying is just an option that can be utilised not to be taken as how RNZAF will now always deploy to the islands (good way to shorten NH90s life prematurely). The aus army blackhawks could self deploy to Timor as well and did but if there was a C17 available then they would use it instead to swap out frames.

    As Ngati has said NH90 is not our only outsize peice of kit and modern equipment is only getting larger, NZLAV, JCB, MHOV etc SAS bushmaster??? Whilst some ops have long lead times alot also happen quickly and alot of these options cannot swim. Whilst we can and do rely on our allies for bulk transport obviously if we need equipment of this nature moved then arguably so do they so a level of self reliance is always beneficial at least for the initial surge.

    Even if a NH90 did self deploy it could still require a quick replacement due to a fault, hours or increase in taskings so I think our own quick transport will still be high on the option list. The public have no clue on particular models of aircraft but they do see the good jobs they do around the globe, one good thing.
     
  10. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    I think that even though the P8 is the bees knees, like I said earlier it comes down to money and the Orion replacement is more than just surveillance. It includes ASW and ASuW given that it will be our only long range ASuW asset, apart from the Seasprites. I have been having another look at what's on offer and even including the P8, IMHO the SAAB Swordfish / Bombardier G6000 option appears to be the best for NZDF. Whilst the P8 offers more capability wise, Swordfish offers greater range, loitre time, acquisition and operating economics. It has almost similar published capabilities to the P8 apart from the Multi Mission Sensor. It is my belief that we could acquire six of the Swordfish /G6000 MPA for what we would pay for four P8s.

    The Elta system uses a Bombardier G5000 which is slightly smaller and has less range than the Bombardier G6000. Their sensors and electronics offering appears to me to be less capable than the SAAB offering. I also have concerns that, IIRC they have sold some gear to China, which may compromise any gear we get from them.

    The C295MPA does not have the range nor all of the capabilities that we require. It is really only good for EEZ type distances from shore. Definitely not the deep blue ocean 1000 nautical miles offshore like our P3s cover. I don't even think it has the legs to make it to the ice without extra tanks.

    So at the present point in time I will hang my hat on the swordfish / G6000 combo.
     
  11. kiwipatriot69

    kiwipatriot69 Active Member

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    Frankly i think it would be folly for our forces to become more reliant on coalition forces to move our troops and equipment. Why we need heavy lifters in the first place is to that we can act independantly at least in a HADR role in the pacific. Not having adequate means puts a drain on our defence partners, and makes us a liability ,not a force multiplyer
     
  12. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    Looking at Facebook and the various media releases, so far RNZAF's commitment to Fiji appears to be:

    - One or more P-3C Orions for damage assessment, SAR and air-dropping of light comms equipment
    - Multiple C-130 Hercules flights to deliver personnel and supplies
    - At least one 757 flight to deliver personnel and supplies
    - Two Seasprite helicopters to be delivered by Canterbury
    - Two NH90s to be delivered by Canterbury (nice to see their first operational deployment)

    Have I missed anything?

    This is almost a clean sweep of Air Force assets - all we are missing is a King Air and a AW109! Given that a King Air was used for eyeball surveillance and as an inter-island taxi in Vanuatu, I wouldn't be surprised to see one of then go north in the current operation.

    Does anyone know if there has ever been consideration to deploying an AW109 offshore - it would presumably be transportable by C-130?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  13. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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  14. kiwipatriot69

    kiwipatriot69 Active Member

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    Surprised we couldnt fit another helicopter on the HMNZ Wellington, which was mentioned in another thread as going with Canterbury to Fiji. Is there a issue with Seasprite availability, why not a A109 or another NH90 then?
     
  15. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    It has to because it needs to get a handle on the delayed deliveries and start catching up. The partner nations are getting somewhat antsy about the continual delays.
     
  16. Oberon

    Oberon Member

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    Would Seasprite be of much utility in Fiji apart from a communications role? It is after all an ASW asset and not a personnel or stores carrier which is most needed.

    When is Canterbury due to arrive in Fiji?
     
  17. RegR

    RegR Well-Known Member

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    2 seasprites and 2 NH90s is already quite a sizaleable contribution from our inventory (alongside the other defence assets/personnel), do we really need more? I'm sure the squadrons still have their routine tasks, training, maintainence etc to conduct anyway.

    The sprites will be conducting the tasks that the A109 would perform being of similar size/scope so really no point in doubling up as it will just require more logistical support supporting another type.
     
  18. RegR

    RegR Well-Known Member

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    With ramped up production and Spain deferring/selling/offloading 13 from their fleet surely creates options for some in RNZAF colours? We could work with Spain to gain 4-5 of their slots for ourselves hopefully at favourable cost and suitable timeline. Everyone one wins, NZ, Spain and Airbus.

    I would still like to see us get a C295 type soonish so as to cover the inevitable gap that the transition from C130H to its replacement will cause as 40 sqn re-trains, re- learns and re-orgs in due course.
     
  19. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    Spain's deferral means that the slots Spain currently has are for those regarded as essential. The 13 not yet being bought have been shunted into slots far in the future. This is quite convenient for Airbus, as even with the hoped-for increased production rate it'll still be struggling to build the aircraft fast enough for the customers who don't want to defer deliveries, such as France.
     
  20. Gibbo

    Gibbo Active Member

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    The SH2G's & AW109 would perform similar roles in Fiji - moving smaller groups of people & underslung loads (lighter than the NH90 anyhow), both tasks that the SH2G's performed excellently in Vanuatu. I can't find specs but I suspect the SH2G could lift a heavier underslung load that the AW109...!?!