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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. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Since they are persona non-grata in the Gulf States Cooperation Council their 8 C-17's wont be up too much. Qatar is about 1/6th the size of Tasmania. They only bought 8 because the UAE bought eight. It is show pony stuff.

    Boeing stockholders did well though and that is about all. They will likely sit in the desert and be flown around empty every once and awhile. Maybe we could pay for a couple of C-5M's before the RERP runs down the clock and swap them for a couple of C-17's with a cash difference. o_O

    We get two C-17's put to actual constant good use for the benefit of free world and they get a couple of huge aircraft even bigger than what the UAE have to self congratulate themselves over. Everyones happy.

    The kind of crazy deal Trump might get off on.
     
  2. old faithful

    old faithful Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Actually a pretty sensible plan.
    5 x C130J30,s. Increases the airlift by a bit, commonality with just about everyone.
    Add 5-6 Blackhawks, good to go.
    Or get rid of the NH90,s completely, and go for a fleet of 12-14 Blackhawks, and replace the Sprites with 8-10 Seahawks.....now its starting to make sense.
    Get a couple of MRTT and the RNZAF can really help of RAAF operations as well as their own.
     
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  3. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    Agree it would make sense to buy equipment that fits the existing capability, but unfortunately I cant see government picking up the tab for another type inless to replace existing fleet. Has RNZAF ever tested the self deploy ability of the NH-90 to near Pacific nation?

    I know you relied on the RAAF for movement to Talisman Sabre via C17
     
  4. Rob c

    Rob c Member

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    While this does make some sense, it wont happen. As we are looking for a transport aircraft replacement, it would make more sense to buy an aircraft which will do the require job instead of buying one that won't and then changing every think else so that we can achieve the missions that we need to carry out.
     
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  5. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    Agree it wont happen, but there even less logic in investing in an aircraft that on paper ticks all the boxes but is left on the tarmac due to design or spare parts problems, its the difference of having a capability 100% of the time to 50% of time.

    C130J might be the 80% solution but when you need it you know it supported 100% of time
     
  6. Novascotiaboy

    Novascotiaboy Member

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    Mr C the suggestion of a second fleet of MUH is the best idea on this thread in a long time IMHO. Besides their HADR use via C130J-30 they would be more economic to operate in support of other government departments.
    I also agree with the idea of pursuing some type of deal with Qatar for a couple of their underutilized C17s. They must need dairy or meat products as a result of their current status.
     
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  7. Gibbo

    Gibbo Member

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    Absolutely correct - no Govt (Nat or Lab/NZF etc) is about to stump up $$$ for a another type just so it fits into the C130. The additional support & training overheads of a new, small fleet don't warrant it.

    As stated the issues revolve largely around NH-90 & LAV not fitting into the C130. The fact is the LAV will indeed only ever be significantly deployed by HMNZS Canterbury or an allies equivalent vessel. The need to air deploy will only be in fairly rare deployments like Afghanistan where a small number for a specific purpose are moved by allies. The key point to consider is NZDF will tailor their response to reflect the deployability of assets - so if it's a land-locked area & NZDF can't organise transport, they won't be sent.

    The NH-90 is a more immediate issue but if the C130J gets the nod for tactical FAMC, as I expect it will, the only realistic option to air-deploy will be a continuation of grovelling for a C17 favour from allies or get onto maturing the self-deploy NH-90 capability.

    Yes getting a larger type for Strategic FAMC is the best opportunity but with no obvious choice that offers something that is (1) available (2) proven in demanding service over time (3) not racked with issues of poor support, huge losses etc, then a B757 type combi (KC46 / A330 MRTT etc) is a very real possibility.

    So I'd suggest none of the C17, A400M, C2 are a certainty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  8. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd keep the NH90 besides selling them would be a loss and would there be a buyer? The replacement Sprites are working perfectly fine and will keep ticking over for another 12-15 years.

    Buy six C-130J's - three in the latest SOF configuration and three in the stretched J-30 configuration. The SOF is a tanker and ISR platform, fit the J-30's with the A2A receptacle option. The latest external fuel tank upgrade adds 500nm. The McMurdo PSR is greatly eased. The easiest, cheapest and most proven transition of any future FAMC type to replace the C-130H in RNZAF service. It does everything we want from a tactical lifter, commonality with all our close regional partners, and follow it up with whatever wins the run off between a B767 variant and an A330 variant for the strategic requirement. In favour of the B767 is that it is cheaper to buy own and operate and again an easy transition for 40Sqd coming from the B757 compared to an A330 variant. Also there is a huge amount of existing type knowledge and contractor support capacity in country following AirNZ flying the type for many years.

    Won't happen? It may do if they think things through and crunch the numbers. There is a ministerial review going on after-all. Mr Mark clearly sees the attributes of the C-130J family, has spoken highly of the Blackhawk, not a great fan of the NH90 so there is real doubts over getting more of those to fill the MUH gap, he has spoken frequently that there are not enough utility helicopters. In the time frame for the FAMC replacement 2025-25 I cannot see any issue introducing the UH-60V into RNZAF service. The the NH90 and LUH are established in service and small numbers of UH-60V's to shove in the back of a C-130J should on no account be an impossible issue for a functioning modern air force to overcome. If that is too much for them then remanufactured zero houred Huey II's. The Kenyans picked up five for USD$52m with all the usual support and went back for three more. It is about getting the job done. It is being smart and not being pedantic. The support and cost excuses are only that and if small private companies can manage to operate small mixed fleets of Bell 212's, Jet Rangers and MD-500's then excuses about a basic utility helicopter to supplement the NH90 that we can get quickly to places where the NH-90 cannot go because it is too fat to fit.

    Kenya to receive five Huey II helicopters

    Kenyan Huey II deliveries almost complete; Ugandan deliveries imminent | defenceWeb
     
  9. Gibbo

    Gibbo Member

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    Yes agree with NH-90 is here to stay & we do need more rotary - but that is more likely to be get NH-90 #9 in full service and a small number of extra AW109. I wouldn't say no to a small fleet of MUH but I just can't convince myself Govt is going to go there. It certainly wouldn't be a Huey type - after all the political argy-bargy about the cost & subsequently the (erroneous) issues about suitability / availability etc they are not about to buy more of the type the NH-90 replaced. Imagine the political fallout and questions as to why we got rid of Hueys only to buy more after the huge outlay on the NH-90. To be honest the same bad press would surround any new type to supplement the NH-90 - so can't see any political will there.

    Assume we're talking HADR in SouPac, that's where we are most likely to need the NH-90 in theatre quickly. Self-deploy has to be developed as a core capability. RNZN also now has 5, eventually 7 (Aotearoa and SOPV) helicopter capable vessels so there are increasingly chances that a vessel will be available at short-notice so an initial seaborne response (SH-2G or AW109 only on OPV) is also realistic. While they sail the C130 etc can be doing the initial response and maybe also run as mother-ship for a couple of self-deploying NH-90.

    So many options, so little $$$...
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  10. kiwipatriot69

    kiwipatriot69 Member

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    In that vein of questioning I would argue how often would we require a C17 sized airlifter, how often would it remain on the tarmac, due to a lack of funding for flight hrs etc. Sure, if the price is right and we have assistance of our Aussie neighbours all fine and dandy, but a refit however cheap will just by us what ,10, 15 years before we start having issues with it, need to replace it anyway? Having larger ships in the pipeline is good, but really a immediate air response is preferential.
     
  11. recce.k1

    recce.k1 Member

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    The additional MUH idea is quite interesting.

    The NH90's are foremost "battlefield" helos (eg with their early warning countermseasures and future FLIR system etc), keep them for that i.e. in-country Army/CT support and overseas deployments. (Ideally a couple more or so NH90's would be bought in time to ensure sufficient numbers can be deployed and supported).

    But yes perhaps there is a need for a basic MUH that can fit into a C-130J/KC-390 (without many of the ECM equipment and costs etc) for basic Army utiliity, SAR and HADR support. For Army roles perhaps they could supplement the NH90's in terms of follow-up logistics support lift? If so handy for in-country use and potentially for overseas deployment support of the Army in more secured areas etc. Ideal for quick HADR response into the South Pacific (saves tieing up the NH90's).

    Could the current AW-109 suffice (although it is a LUH - with reduced lift), to simplify support and training? If not, then looks like there are options otlined here eg Huey II's, UH-60V's or another Eurocopter variant (of which there are a number of good options)?

    NZ needs more rotary lift is a given and with the current public awareness of natural disasters and HADR, it could be a good investment, especially if costs are reasonably contained so that it doesn't impact on other Major Projects funding!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  12. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    Its not a question how often NZ would use the oversize capability of C17 but one of cost for rate of effort and effect that has on the overall capability options open to RNZAF and government ,If the government had not procrastinated on the white tails RNZAF would not be in a position on compromising operational flexibility now
     
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  13. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If not a Huey II (they are cheap), or a UH-60 which is the kind of rotary we should have got all along and replaced 1 for 1 with the Huey, then maybe a LUH using a larger A109 Grand airframe and with increased engine performance is a solution. At least there is faith in that type and can be shoved in the back of a C-130J.
    The self-deployment of an NH-90 2000nm across the Pacific Ocean has a number of issues and will still take a matter of days. I put it in the spin-doctor 101 response to cover ones arse to media questions. Kind of fantasyland stuff like the CY was also going to be a patrol vessel. Long range self deployment is not a rapid response. It is ad-hoc seat of the pants stuff and not without risk. Lose a crew and a helicopter under such circumstances it would be very interesting to see how that legally plays out for anyone in the decision loop.

    Whatever happens HADR wise the NZDF will take days before they have rotary capability into the island unless it hitches a ride via an airlifter. I can see TVNZ's Barbara Dreaver right now, whinging that the Australian Army are already there flying UH-60's doing the great work - but our NH-90's will take another three days island hopping - talk about then having a PR disaster. Some modern first world HADR from a nation that is making it self out to be such a thing and has sacrificed its combat capability to do so cannot get a helicopter to rescue little children from the roof of huts and airlift old people to hospital. Shift a tonne of emergency food and a diesel generator to a cut off village - or an isolated village on a island 50 kilometres away without a runway. And the real nasty stuff body retrevial before the tropical weather humidity and temps create ID and health issues. Then they might break off their fantasyland nonsense about self deploying and do something constructive..
     
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  14. Novascotiaboy

    Novascotiaboy Member

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    Great conversation going on here.

    A six pack purchase would provide the rule of threes coverage needed to sustain ops and allow for maintenance and training. The SOF aircraft can provide SAR in place of the P8s as well as provide unique support to the NZSAS. Is there any probability that the 30 mm cannon option would be considered by the government?
     
  15. Gibbo

    Gibbo Member

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    Yes agree island-hopping is a multi-day exercise with risk, so probably only really a least preferred option... still I do think it should be in the bag of tricks. Ultimately I guess we all agree if Govt won't shell out for a capable airlifter then it's either (1) bludge use of a C17 (2) AW109 in a C130 or (3) NH-90 self-deploy... I don't see a new type being added, would be slated publicly as an admission of a defence planning failure (which of course would be pinned on MOD & NZDF, not pollies).
     
  16. Rob c

    Rob c Member

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    I think you will find that all major western aircraft manufacturers will be at great pains to ensure their products are well supported, as their reputation relies on it and a bad reputation means no sales .Availability in modern aircraft is generally high and Embraer aircraft have a reputation world wide of very high availability, It was reported (some were, I did see it but cannot find it) that the KC 390 had an availability during test flying of 97% which if true is astonishing for test flying. for futher info .
    KC-390: The New Generation Multimission Transport Aircraft - DEFSEC Media
    However I still like the KHI C 2
     
  17. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  18. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Very very interesting. They are to be used in Australia and New Zealand for firefighting and for disaster relief as well. If it is good enough for Fire & Emergency NZ to contract them in when disaster strikes here (no doubt with the bill eventually ending up paid by the NZ government) - it should be good enough to work through some form a contract for the NZDF that meets their needs takes the hassle out of training, support and spares. Even lease them through a local look through company and have the RNZAF fly them and leaving all the management minutiae to LM.

    http://news.lockheedmartin.com/2017...aster-relief-in-Australia-under-new-agreement

    Ten Blackhawks for AUD$62m. With Lockheed Martin in the picture, Mil Comms and a OEM digital cockpit upgrade they would be good to go - an elegant low cost solution or pay another half billion dollars plus to buy a fleet of tactical lifters that can stuff an NH90 in the back to get to the Cook Islands following a Cyclone.
     
  19. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    Your certainty making a very good business case, you might to bend the ear of Ron Mark;);)

    I wonder how they were planning to move them across the ditch when needed,B747F?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  20. recce.k1

    recce.k1 Member

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    RE: NH90 self-deploying.

    At the time of their purchase (around 2006) this was something that was noted in the (then) Govt's Q&A's for the purchase.

    From Hansard 1 Aug 2006 then Defmin Goff stated "The other advantage is that this aircraft can self-deploy to the Pacific. It does not need a C130 to carry it, or, for that matter, a multi-role vessel."

    Hansard Volume:633 Page:4542

    (The rest of that Hansard report on Question Time quickly degenerates into a scene similar to a toddlers kindergarten bust up - looks like that was the time (now Defmin) Ron Mark was infamously photographed "flipping the bird" with a cheesy smirk). :rolleyes:

    Anyway the NH90's are yet to self-deploy overseas. I'm pretty sure I saw a comment on the WONZ forum once explaining that self-deploying would require alot of associated maintenance upon arrival at the final destination (but I haven't been able to locate the comment and the commentator to verify the veracity of that statement). Then with the recent (single) engine failure a year or two ago and the resulting need to quickly land, whether a self-deployment over vasts tracts of ocean is worth the risk?

    I did however locate this comment (which was from a former senior Air Force officer when the NH90 was initially transitioning into service). I think from his answer it is clear that a self-deployment requires additional support resourcing (so not necessarily the most efficient method), which would arrive a couple of days beforehand (unless the support departs later)! Presumably the NH90 aircrew would need to rest at the various stopovers as well etc. (FW = fixed wing).

    "With internal and external aux fuel tanks fitted, the NH90 can fly in excess of 580nm, which is the greatest single leg required to deploy to Australia or the South Pacific Islands. A transit to Australia would probably (subject to winds) require stops in Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island. Such 'self'deployment' would only provide an aircraft and four crew - support equipment and technicians would need to be deployed by FW or by sea."

    Presumably a South Pacific self-deployment would follow an initial similar route eg Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, Fiji, then onto whereever etc. But at the end of the day (and at this point of time) I would hazard a guess self-deployments would be very unlikely (also due to NZ's isolation and its "tyranny of distance" issue). If so then other options could come into play ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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