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Discussion in 'Air Force & Aviation' started by Lucasnz, Jul 17, 2006.
Yes. Not all of the same type type though. For example four P-8's and two or more of something else.
My greatest fear is that they will sit on the FASC and not do anything while they are in power as they will think there is plenty of time left to make a decision . Given previous labour government attitudes towards MPA's I think they may even be thinking of 6 of something else like the C 295 MPA. Remember that both the K and K2 upgrades done during a labour Governments time in office, came without the ASW being upgraded and the project (I can't remember the name) to fully upgrade all systems in the early 2000's was cancelled by Helen Clark. With this in mind I think that our chances of obtaining a high spec MPA have significantly diminished.
The Idea of two more of something, operationally is not a great idea, unless the type is the same as and operated with other similar aircraft, say a transport , or training unit with the same basic type. though even then 2 lesser aircraft would be hard pressed to give reasonable coverage results.
A thought that I had regarding US armed forces aircraft prices. During my time in the air force 60's -80's The US military had separate parts contracts with the individual manufacturers, for example engines, hydraulic pumps and radios etc. these cost significantly cheaper than publicly listed prices and were supplied to the aircraft manufacturer to fit to new aircraft being built for the US forces and as such did not form part of the listed price from the manufacturer to the U.S.G, but of naturally formed part of the program cost to an other customer. Whether this is still the system I do not know.
During times of high inflation and between contract renegotiation this system lead to some interesting problems, were the parts to recondition an item were more expensive than the complete new item when the new items contract was drawing to the end.. So at times with american aircraft we would y the new item instead of reconditioning the existing item. The contracts would change again and sanity would prevail.
Likewise with all this huff & puff about reviews etc, it hardly fills one with confidence when considering the P8 order timeframe. I was surprised to see the Frigate upgrade get the go-ahead just before Xmas so maybe I'm being pessimistic but that project was in a rather more progressed state & there weren't many options other than proceed. Confirming P8 as a preferred choice is a very different situation.
It's next to impossible to find reliable specs that compare P1, P8, C295(MPA) stats for range, time on station etc etc... but I would've thought even Labour / NZ First would be logical enough to realise NZ has a massive area to cover. Does anyone here reliably know if the P1 & P8 stand-out from C295 & the rest on effective range?
The C295MPA does not have the required range or capability set. It would need an ISR suite of systems, secure satellite comms and Link 16 / 22 to be integrated and certified which would be an expensive and risky undertaking.
Yes that was my suspicion so I'm fervently hoping that either (a) Govt move quickly & bite the bullet to get P8 or (b) if they do prevaricate they at least have the nouse to realise the P1 is the only other suitable option.
Dear Govt, please pick either of the above so long as it is option 'a'.
But there are other options - the ATR-72 based MPA already has all of the above (save the range) if they need something of similar size to the C-295 with the above and ready to go - and it has synergies with the Air New Zealand fleet. There are plenty of options for smaller/cheaper aircraft if they government chooses to spend the money elsewhere.
The Pacific Wings Article from June 2014 when a Portugese C-295 visited had the C-295s endurance at 11 hours vs a P-3 at 16 hours - with Portugal able to cover approximately 70% role where the P-3's range, endurance and speed were not required - we obviously have a larger area to cover though. When in NZ it had both the VIP seating and MPA consoles fitted. The ATR has roughly 10 hours endurance I believe.
There are other options as well as the C 295, none that you would call great and with Labour traditionally seeming to think that submarines are a figment of everyone's imagination and the greens saying in their manifesto, NO ASW. So they appear to think that they don't exist or cannot hurt us for some obscure reason, I am not that hopeful. But miracles do sometimes happen.
They are also having significant issues with Engine/Gearbox affecting availability and reliability.
Despite what issues Airbus A400M are facing though, as a Strategic solution for the 757 we are using now, what else is there that is both a proven, in service battlefield airlifter, that plenty of our allies currently use? I might add, where is the RAF complaints, Turkey, France about its reliability?
It has the support chain and the track record in that respect, C2 doesn't, and the requirement is still there. Buying second hand C17 has been dismissed as too expensive by a prior govt, and im glad as second hand planes later needing a refit, costing similar to a brand new A400M is folly.Other options are what, a commercial airlifter, refitted in combi role,as before?
Doesn't every new big ticket item initially have teething issues? Airbus NH90 sure did at first, now it's certainly proven its value. Dont think A400M will be able to fill the order in time for 2022 as a tactical lifter anyway, but with an order for 2 or three as a Strategic lifter,it would.
It’s a stretch IMO to call the A400 a “proven battlefield airlifter”. It certainly has the capability going forward.
Just because it is not criticised openly in the press does not mean there are issues. France is hardly going to criticise airbus! The fact is the aircraft isn’t delivering as promised - even Airbus are unhappy with the contract they are being held to at present, which is why they are talking about re-baselining it again.
As MrC said - it will probably work eventually but when you have Euro Nations like Italy getting out of the project completely and Germany trying to reduce involvement, France having to buy KC-130 for the Helo AAR role it’s not that hard to read between the lines.
What is the alternative for NZ? I dunno. I wouldn’t put any of my money into A400 for a long time though!
I think that we have three alternatives:
Buy steal or bludge a couple of C-17s that USAF have placed in storage.
B767ER converted to a combi like the current B757.
The last option is the least favourable because it is basically the status quo which is unsuitable for moving outsized and heavy kit. The first option would work as long as the govt and Treasury realise that a goodly supply of spares are required. The second option would ideally be the best because it covers all of our strategic airlift needs and requirements.
I have never read anywhere the cost of depot level refits for the C-17 costing similar to a new A400M. I have though read the 38 page FY11-19 US DoD C-17 Budget Justification data covering the 70 C-17A Block 13-17 block retrofits, IFF Mode 5 upgrade, Pylon Stub FFLZ retrofit, ER/OBIGGS-II to C-17ER configuration. It works out to be USD$19.95m per airframe.
They were only 'too expensive' in the context that the NZ Govt in early 2015 did not want to bring forward funding which would have stuffed up their overarching political goal of being in surplus in FY2016/17. That is the folly.
Another option outside the ball park. NZ Throws its budget in with Oz and gets more of the same equipment and shares them in process similar to how some EU nations are doing with different platforms already?
I believe Airbus is unbackable in light of it current problems both with the aircraft and management. I also don't believe C2 will get up due to the fact it has only a single operator its logistical supply train limits(engines are compatible within 5 eyes) usefulness within RNZAF, I would not 100% rule it out but believe its an outside chance as with C17 the aircraft the USAF placed in storage they will eventually want to put back to work, that leaves a commercial aircraft for strategic lift a like for like capability. there are large freighter commercial lifter's such as ANZ B777/787 fleet but that can lead to limited deployed in country support with NZ allies which operate different models, for this reason I believe RNZAF has only 2 real choices either the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus or A330 MRTT.
From my perspective I believe this is why the RFI listed AAR as a desirable capability, with possibly eventfully fitting out refuelling probes to the NH-90 fleet.
French, German Governments to Renew Airbus Management
There would be the issue of sovereignty. Sometimes our friends on the West Island (Australia) do things that we wouldn't touch and vice versa. Unlike the EU, Aussie and NZ don't have an overarching supranational political - legal structure and our foreign policies are independent of each other. We also have different monetary policies and currencies.
For that to work Oz should demand that NZ gets its spending back to 1989/1990 levels of 2% of GDP. That decade defence spending halved and it has never recovered from 1% and at times lower.
NZ has to get its head around the fact that 1% of GDP is not sufficient and never has been. That a mentality stuck in the idea that it is still 1993 not 2018 when it comes to what is appropriate defence spend wise. Unfortunately only two out of the three Anglosphere nations are holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to maintaining our long term traditions of liberal democracy.
Although the US is likely the best option for second hand C-17s, trying to persuade Qatar to sell two of their C-17s might be an alternative source. Can't imagine they have many hours on their C-17s, they don't need 8 of them, and Qatar needs new friends. Regardless, C-17s should be the choice.
Agreed, and I don't see this situation improving. In the UK's case it is the consequences of Brexit along with other domestic issues. Both Canada and NZ have apathetic electorates when it comes to defence electing fools like junior. It could get worse as Trump continues his gong show. Between continuing deficits and a debt approaching 20 trillion dollars, the US 3-4% of GDP for defence is going to be impossible once interest rates begin to rise.
The main issue that we get back to is the inability to stuff an NH-90 in a C-130. NZ-LAV is not so much of an issue as that was always going to be a Sealift tasking. One of the most immediate and useful needs in for example a HADR event like the Tsunami in Samoa in 2009 was the urgent need for utility rotary assets.
We have a numbers shortage in that area with only 5 LUH (training) and 8 NH90's (utility). Sprites can be used but using an ASW helicopter in such a way is pretty non-optimal.
So instead of trying to put the cart in front of the horse or square peg in a round hole - maybe the prgamatic idea is to actually get a MUH that fits inside a K/C-130J variant. Leave the LUH numbers as they are at five for training, leave the NH90 numbers at eight (and they can sensibly deploy with the LAV's via a sealift capability) and introduce a few UH-60V's into service. So when there is an HADR/SASO event in the South Pacific for example we can respond appropriately and have a couple of MUH rotary assets there within the first day.
UH-60V's are the digital cockpit upgrade for remanufactured UH-60A's from AMARG to UH-60L's.
The vanilla UH-60L is not a bank breaker either: Colombia – UH-60L BLACK HAWK Helicopters | The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency