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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. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Disagree. The link that t68 put up above clearly states the sequence of events. Pollies only went by what they were told by the RAN & DMO.
     
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  2. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    Just out of interest what problem(s) would that/those be exactly? I still call into OH from time to time and have not heard about these issues from anyone in fact somewhat the opposite, they are actively recruiting just to man the ones they have with the required numbers IOT use them fully, especially crew dogs. They have been actually looking for ex serving members to rejoin just to fill the gaps and help out as nothing beats experience.

    Much like wanting more naval vessels in the fleet not sure we would really achieve much more overall then we can safely manage now without improvements in key personell at least. Can have all the gear in the world but all for nought if there's no one to operate it.
     
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  3. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Eight NH90 were never enough and that was known right from the start. To meet tasking the aircraft will have to flown often and as taskings increase required maintenance will take a back seat. One just has to look at the SH-2G(NZ) Seasprite debacle to see how such a scenario worked, and the NH90s are facing the same future.

    The personnel problems are down to personnel retention and a cap on personnel numbers due to funding. If NZDF get an increase in funding what do they spend it on? Equipment? Maintenance? Personnel? Infrastructure? They sure don't have enough money to cover all of those by any means. As each year passes they are being hollowed out more.
     
  4. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    Yes but again, enough for what exactly? A battalion deployment? An SF op? HADR in the Pacific? Where have these "shortages" been in usable helos? I have not heard of any exs/ops to date that have been left short/cancelled and we've been at it awhile now. And then again all rather moot if there is no one to crew them as they are not going to start flying a frame in the am then switching to another one in the pm all in an effort just to keep the frame hours low on any particular frame. All aircraft are allocated annual flying hours and this is all accounted for in their overall lifespan and more importantly operating budget ie the flying hours will not nesscessarily change with an increased fleet the hours will just be split more so other than prolonging the life of the fleet (do we really want another 50 year old fleet again?) we just replace as and when needed like most other air forces.

    It would be abit like us keeping all 105 NZLAV when we only need 70 just so we do not clock up the K's to quickly and thus prolonging their lifespan, not actually overall cost effective.

    We were never going to 1 for 1 the hueys with NH90 at any rate and I think the combined NH90/A109 (which we seem to forget) fleet more than covers the like for like fleet by any stretch of the imagination. Complimentary/composite fleets are the new vfm initiative and IMO long overdue as we are finally realising one boot does not fit all occasions.

    We run the risk of trying to fund everything again at the expense of the lesser options instead of a more balanced approach which in themselves degrade our military more than just having a generic number of kit in the inventory.

    The only way I see us needing more frames will either be in say 10-15 years when the wear and tare starts adversely affecting availability, costs dramatically decrease or when we have an output change requiring (and justifying) an increase in which by then any number of other options may well prove more beneficial such as tech improvements, model upgrades or even a completely different complimentary platform all together. Other than that I would rather see us get our monies worth out of what we have, use it portionally and replace as per LOT/legitimate use and not drive/sail/fly them straight into museums or scrapyards like we usually do.

    Just because it was "recommended" we get x to do y generally I have found that due to our stiff competition for that elusive govt titty funding it pays to talk up so when they inevitably come down you find yourself in a happy medium and everyone walks away feeling as though they did OK out of the deal in retrospect. Would be a coolish day in hell when the NZDF gets exactly what they want, require and need from any of these current parties bar a major shift in thinking be it forced or otherwise.
     
  5. KiwiRob

    KiwiRob Active Member

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    The shortages haven't reared their heads yet, the fleet is still young, but as Ngati pointed out with the Seasprites to few aircraft meant each frame put on hours far quicker than if there had been more of them, resulting in lots of maintenance issues and early retirement, they were flogged to death. The A109's are going to suffer the same fate, the requirement was for 8, we only bought 5.
     
  6. old faithful

    old faithful Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    So Reg....by your logic, because you havnt been caught short yet, by only having 8 airframes, say six available, you could probably do away with the Artillery, cause they havnt been used since Vietnam, and probably cut the frigates out altogether.
    If NZ did another r Timor like deployment, and sent six NH 90s to support a battalion group plus an SAS Squadron, that leaves 2 airframes in NZ plus around 5 sprites and 5 AW109,s.
    Now if you lose a chopper or two on that deployment, you are very short.
    8 NH90,s for a Country like NZ is crazy IMO.
    I thought that NZ was getting another 3x AW109,s to bring them up to 8/frames?
     
  7. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    The prospect of adding three more AW109s to the fleet was floated (around 2010 from memory?), and even made it into official documents as a possibility. However, it was absent from the 2017 Defence Capablity Plan, which didn't include increasing numbers of either helicopter type. An updated DCP ordered by the new government is due for release next month, but I would be surprised if it included any additional airframes.

    I think Reg's point (above) is that it isn't simply a matter of ordering additional airframes - you need additional crew, maintainers, parts, hanger space etc. Unless the government is prepared to fund the whole package, simply adding helicopters isn't going to achieve much. Given this is a Defence forum, it pretty much goes without saying people here want more spent on defence, to allow for this sort of increased capability. Unfortunately, this is not a view shared ny HM New Zealand Government...
     
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  8. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    How is that anything like my "logic"? We already have artillery but then if you were to suggest we raise and fund a 3rd battery of more guns 'just in case' the other 2 are by some chance deployed to support said battalion then yes, I would put forward the same argument.

    If you seriously think we will deploy 6 NH90s to support a bn gp just because we sent 6 UH1Hs to support the last bn outting (20 years ago may I add) then you obviously do not understand the reasoning behind acquiring NH90 in the first place otherwise we could just be running new build hueys a lot more cheaply with a lot less supposed problems in the numbers you want, infact for the price we paid could probably have 3× the numbers of hueys, but then again if we cannot adequately man, maintain or operate them then what is the actual point? I guess you also think we were contemplating buying 5 C17s to replace our 5 C130s as well, by your logic...

    FYI and as a comparison we only surged 6 hueys into Timor initially which then dropped to 4 for the majority of the Batts and remainder of the op and we had 14 of those. The venerable huey could only realistically deploy 5 fully equipped troops over a much reduced distance with numerous limitations so surely we should have sent in more if anything right? Kept the original 6 in theatre at least? Deploy 8? 12? Why not, we had the numbers? There is abit more to it then just throwing frames at any given situation and a few more considerations to take into account than once in a couple of decade scenarios.

    We are not just "short" of helos but also the companies, artillery, SAS, frigates, supporties and wider nzdf they would be maintaining/being maintained by so the list of deficiencies is relative.
     
  9. old faithful

    old faithful Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    No Reg, Sorry about my tone to mate.

    What I mean, is if you have 8 airframes, you probably only have 6 flying and 2 in the shop.
    I fully understand why NZ bought the NH 99,s and its about range, number pax, and load carrying capacity.
    But I have to say that 8 was never going to be enough.
    4 will just give you company lift.
    In an ET type operation, 4 + at least 1 spare would still need to be deployed to support a battalion group. That leaves 3 at home. 3.
    Maybe the NH 90 is the wrong platform for NZ. I understand having a common AC with Aust has advantages. I think that a country like NZ actually needs more helos, even if that meant less capability per aircraft.
    I'm not suggesting a huge increase either, but even another 2 would make a difference, and not put much strain on the budget.
    My "by your logic" statement was out of line, and didnt make the point I was trying to eother, and I apologize for that.
     
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  10. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    No worries, we all have our views and points and express them accordingly, I for one enjoy the differences of opinion, flavour of the page and yes can be sometimes "misread" over this medium. No need to apologise.

    I do agree we have small numbers in pretty much all our fleets across all the services, but I also acknowledge that the support, infrastructure, operating budget etc is also accordingly aligned so without the commensurate and consistent holistic support approach across the board then merely adding numbers vs capacity is in some instances more detrimental than beneficial if not applied properly especially if those they are supporting are in the same boat so to speak.

    For example for us to deploy and maintain the bn gp to ET99 was actually quite a draw on NZDF resources and in fact difficult to maintain in all honesty with many trades/corps conducting multiple tours out of necessity more than anything. Point is a deployment of that size would be main effort and priority but would also not leave much back home for anything else anyway regardless other than essentially training for the next rotation and extreme requirements only, this is why NZDF would be hesitant to conduct another such op in any great hurry, without an across the board top up anyway. This was found to be the case when we finally RTNZ from ET and essential other core training could then be properly conducted and numbers shaken back out to other tasks.

    I remember me and mrC debating the number of frames that would realistically again be sent to support such an option from the current fleet in comparison to the legacy fleet. I supposed 4 NH90s would be the initial surge we would send, vs 6 UH1H we sent taking into account capacity/capabilities/cycles etc dropping to 3 (vs 4) after the shake out period perhaps even a minimum 2 in conjunction with other assets (A109, SH2G and combined ANZAC group) but then the availability question rears it's head with only 2. The second Timor deployment (coy group) utilised 2 hueys at its peak. Essentially a 90 can carry more than twice the load of a huey twice the distance faster in all conditions more reliably so where they would have once used 2 hueys to conduct a task would now require 1 nh90 to complete the same task so therefore I see a general deployment of 2-3 nh90s being the norm for most of our future ops (as per latest exs/civil aid ops), 4 at a push but then that would be supporting a bn gp so again realistically "majority" of our deployable army anyway so only as sustainable as they are (RNZAF have staff limitations as well, some worse than army). This would leave 4-5 in NZ, 2 in various states of maintainence and 2-3 for SF, local emergencies, conversion etc but again very much prioritized as crews would either be returning, resting or re-qualling to some degree dependant on length of deployment which is AFAIK why air force usually do 3 month tours vs the standard army 6. Any loss would be hard felt regardless of on ops or in training as per any number of our platforms but numerically nh90s would be one of the current fleets actually better able to take a hit and still function in comparison and God forbid any loss of crew would be the bigger stumbling block in any instance anyway. Sad but true.

    Just my opinion anyway from what I saw deployed/deployed with on various ops/exs in my time but hey if something big ever did happen then it would be all hands to the pump in any case, along with our allies of course, no doubt rightly or wrongly a consideration on the current fleet make up.

    Of course I would love to see more of everything, ships, planes, helos etc etc as so far we have very little in the way of attrition (in many cases none and operational fleets only) and the new trend is to pool resources which yes is a folly in my eyes but with limited resources, people being one, then obvious prioritizations need to be made in this well balanced blade we call the forces.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  11. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression that a minimum of 6 airframes were needed for a company lift with all there kit, you can get 20 bums on seats but only 14/16 fully equipped troops.

    Funding for manning levels will go some way to defining crew number overall, but if the general perception is one that the will continue to cut capability will have an effect on people wanting to join in the 1st place. There were a lot of Kiwis in the ADF when I was in I guess they saw more career opportunity's in the ADF than the NZDF
     
  12. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    For some reason they base a company lift on the ability to move a full platoon in 3 waves not an entire company in a single flight, more like a shuttle service than a flight of the Valkyries scenario. The only time I remember us doing an actual single coy lift was Victor into Suai and we needed Aus Blackhawks to assist.

    Not only joining in my experience but retention to a degree as well as we seem to recruit the numbers but then a lot leave after a few years, or even after a single deployment, and then the cycle begins again so recruitment ends up just keeping pace with active numbers. Especially noticeable in technical trades as a few get their tickets, do their return of service and bang out like clockwork to chase those civil options.

    A lot of pers changed over @ET99 when they saw the differences in allowances, equipment etc and then ironically we all worked together on the 2nd Timor op in the composite battalion/air group alike. True ANZAC spirit makes that bond even stronger IMO even though we lost a few operators. The flow has stemmed somewhat recently to the military at least haha.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  13. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In December 2003 the Review of the Defence Policy Requirements for the NZDF Helicopter Capability that had been initiated in 2001 returned to Cabinet having been informed by the NZDF deployment to Timor Leste and for a short time concurrent deployment to Honiara with 5 Options of which Option 5 itself actually had 3 sub-options.

    Of all the options - Option 5C of 10 medium utility aircraft and 10 training and light utility aircraft was deemed the optimum mix to meet all key operational requirements including being an effective mix for humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations and a training and light utility suitable for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance roles.

    The NH90 being able to operate day and night, in inclement weather and in a range of climatic, geographical and threat environments was preferred (though not favoured until Australia selected the type in 2005 which conformed NZDF preferences) with respect to being able to conduct an Aerial Sustainment Movement of an Army platoon of a minimum of 27 soldiers and equipment in a single wave to ensure synchronised arrival of combat elements. The NH90 was able to conduct an Aero-medical Evacuation Movement of up to six stretcher casualties, plus medical staff, in a single helicopter. It also was able airlift as an underslung load a 105mm light gun and a light operational vehicle. It was deemed the right aircraft to conduct Combat and Special Operations Missions, to meet sovereignty requirements in EEZ, including maritime counter terrorism, and reach significant outlying islands in the South Pacific.

    The identified operational and capability requirements produced during the Capability Definition Phase were recalibrated again in 2006 prior to the tender and contract negotiation process as the operational requirements had in Cabinets view to be balanced against cost or viability considerations.

    Subsequently, a counter terrorism role and the ability to support New Zealand Police operations were added as capability requirements prior to the selection of both types. These additional roles were added to the roles that the new fleet was to conduct but did not see the actual acquired fleet numbers grow.

    In the 2003 CDP with a fleet of 10 T/LUH aircraft 4 would be in the training role and allowing the ability to deploy up to a further 3 aircraft at a time for short duration deployments and still enable a limited amount of tasking in support of the NZDF. With a fleet of 10 MUH's 4 would be available to deploy in support of a Land Task Force allowing a continuation of broader training requirements including pre deployment support, as well as meet other NZDF and MAOT needs. Note at that stage in 2003 when the comprehensive capability study was released the CT and NZ Police support role requirements were not as critical as what they were to become later in the decade which further reinforces the 'lightness' in RNZAF fleet numbers.

    In 1999-2002 we were able to cope with a long term UNSC Chp VII deployment in support of a BATT Group and have a short term UNSC Chp VIII SASO operation and maintain 3 Sqd training because the RNZAF was able to draw from 15 UH-1H aircraft.

    My deep concern is that with just 8 NH90s and 5 AW109's that is now not possible and if there happened to also be a weather related HADR disaster in the South Pacific (almost an annual event these days or a calamity domestically - 3 major earthquakes in 8 years) requiring HVL assets. From what baseline metric one uses the current fleet is numerically sub optimal essentially due to the fact that the 2007 Government appropriation was sub optimal.
     
  14. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    I think the best we could hope for, in the short to medium term at least, is for govt to begrudgingly stump for the 3 vanilla 109s to cover the trg role and free up all 5 milspecs for official duties. They will see it as taking pressure off the 90 fleet, bolstering the trg fleet while still adding to the fleet overall and therefore a win either way. Relatively inexpensive to introduce/maintain/operate (compared to 2 more 90s anyway),non technical, easy assimilation and seen to be doing something pro defence and nationally beneficial for the cameras which all govts like. Some in power think just like the general public all helicopters do the same job so just get the small cheap ones and pretend the rest, that will be fine....

    TBH I would rather see another P8 anyway if I had to choose an expensive asset(s) to add to the mix or an improved 2 tier mpa at least.

    With the other priorities needing funding and the relative ease with which the P8s were sold to Joe public (surprisingly) they would want to literally take the least combative route and a few trainers would make less waves than a couple more of those "big bad expensive lemon American war machines" (their words not mine) and could go relatively nonfussed if spun right.

    The sad truth of trying to get anything across the goal line these days with our comfortably numb taxpayer masses. The C130s should be an easier big ticket sell as their worth is known and simplified, they will still always cost too much (apparently money better spent on homeless sick kids blah blah blah) but the real kicker will be the frigate replacement as that will be when all the rainbows with seemingly nothing but time to protest will...protest.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  15. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Not quite RNZAF, but Ohakea ATC is involved. A USAF B-52 will be making an appearance at the Wings Over Wairarapa Airshow near Masterton on Saturday 23rd Feb 2019. It will be coming from Guam and will do a flypast, but will not be landing in NZ. This is great news and a coup for the airshow organisers. Unfortunately I won't be attending - bugger. Undoubtedly there will be some screeching and gnashing of teeth from the loony left-tards :p but interestingly enough the airshow is in the electorate of the current Minister of Defence and no doubt Ron will enjoy the sight of a BUFF flying over his electorate. The PM and her cronies may be cringing, but who cares, because it'll be a magnificent sight especially if the weather is good and the cloud stays away.

    Big, American bomber to make an appearance at Wings Over Wairarapa
     
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  16. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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  17. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Other than that local firm MAROPS and Rockwill Collins will provide customer tailored airborne and ground systems. Not being explicit is actually a good thing to be honest.
     
  18. Gibbo

    Gibbo Active Member

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    Yes whilst press releases clearly stated 2 of the fleet "...will be configured to assist in maritime surveillance tasks across New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone" (to quote Jane's) there's never been any publicly released info about what fit-out that actually entails. I guess that part of the capability is still in the planning or implementation stage.

    Happy to be corrected but AFAIK the systems required for AWO training etc are largely comprised of laptops carrying simulation software that have integrated mapping. I'm sure it's a little more complex that that but AIUI it's nothing that resembles a console like you'd see in a P3 or P8.

    The KA350 will be a great little asset, doing a task more like what the NATS F27 did, and the grey does indeed suit them. I would like to see a 42Sqn emblem on the fin tho! ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019 at 10:18 PM
  19. Novascotiaboy

    Novascotiaboy Active Member

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    RegR I am interested in your opinion on a second tier MPA or MR aircraft instead of the KA350?

    Although the KA350 is a better aircraft than the B200 is it still too small and is this too much of a jump to the C130/ B757 / P3 sized aircraft from a multi engine training perspective?

    Looking at the ongoing wildland fires in Nelson and on the Chatham Islands in 2018 is there a need for fixed wing firefighting capability given climatic change?

    The likely fleet of replacements for the C130Hs will be either in too few numbers or too large for the task but is there not a growing place for a medium twin to support domestic operations and provide the right size stepping stone to the larger aircraft for pilots in training?

    I will not be surprised if the upcoming announcement regarding capability doesn’t recognize this gap in the existing fleet.

    An aircraft that can carry 10 tons from Auckland to Invercargill. Be equipped with aerial firefighting capability, have palletized mission systems for MR, equipped with a ramp for para dropping and able to fill in as a true multi tasked aircraft supporting the whole of government operations.

    This is the place for a fleet of four C295W that are not vanilla transports. With the Canadian SAR variant in production this could fit the above tasks at an affordable price. As a domestic aircraft it should never need to stray into dangerous airspace thus negating the need for expensive self protection and armouring of sensitive areas. With the wealth that NZ has I am sure an investment of $200 to $300 million can be found to provide for the aircraft and it’s supporting infrastructure.

    Ngati I am ready for my “SHUTUP”
     
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  20. Xthenaki

    Xthenaki Member

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    Hi - I do not believe that our air force should be trained and equipped to fight large scale fires This is a specialised task for CAA, Civil Defence, Fire Department and Police. There is a greater need to address the global warming problem and the Government needs to set up a national unit with appropriate resources.
     
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