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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. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Aircraft for dual purpose roles are expensive so having civilian and military fleets for this application can be a cost issue. In Canada the provinces with forest fire issues have their own aviation assets plus they can call upon private contractors. In severe situations (especially in Western Canada), the RCAF helicopter assets are an immense assist. Fire fighting is domestic HADR.
     
  2. Novascotiaboy

    Novascotiaboy Active Member

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    John I couldnt agree more with the statement of domestic HADR. What better non aggresive role for our militaries than helping at home. Fires, floods, earthquakes, tropical storms and cyclones are all perfect fit for a military with command and control capabilities and specialized transportation assetts. NZ has proven time and again the ability of its military to help around the country during times of disaster.

    A fixed wing firefighting capability is just another support to civil powers . Using roll on roll off firefighting packages such as those from a canadian company Airbus has shown how the C295 can provide this capability cheaply and effectively. A nation the size of NZ would struggle to find enough work for dedicated planes such as the CL415 bombers we have here in Canada .
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  3. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    For $6m you can get a couple of ex Australian Army Blackhawks converted to the Bushfire Command and Control role as the NSW Bushfire Brigade are doing in the next couple of years.
    The Military does not actually need to fight the Fires directly to be a massive help in a major Bushfire. Just provide the Transport and Logistics support the Firefighters need.
    The new UAVs entering service will be a Massive plus for fighting a major Bushfire. To be able to watch the entire Bushfire from 15-20,000ft will help more then a couple of C-130s Fire Bombing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  4. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    It's ideal for MEPT and other air forces use similar sized aircraft for this role.
    We do use fixed wing aircraft for firefighting if required. Local topdressing aircraft can be utilised with their hoppers filled with fire retardant instead of fertiliser. They are single engined turboprop aircraft, that use rough farm strips so don't need large regional airports to operate from.



    An argument alluded to by Xthenaki is why should the RNZAF operate what would strictly be a civil operation more attuned to Fire & Emergency NZ under who's purview the fighting of bush fires belongs? He does have a point and maybe the NZG should form and fully fund a civilian air service that encompasses fire fighting, SAR and air ambulance, both fixed and rotary wing. But they won't because like Canada, the NZG has had a strong Scottish heritage so is loath to spend money. It's against its religion.
     
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  5. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    There is a rather significant problem with nations like NZ or Canada making purchase plans for military kit based around domestic HADR and/or support to civil powers usage.

    Such kit, while potentially useful, is really not suited for use in hostile or potentially hostile areas. Relating to that rather strongly, is the tendency for people who are largely ignorant of defence matters to see a piece of military kit that is essentially only suitable for civilian operations then start to believe (or get convinced by those who know better but have an agenda) that defences can be successfully maintained by using cheaper, non-military kit. At which point, pressure starts getting exerted to either reduce the Vote Defence budget, or to purchase kit that is only suitable for constabulary roles at best.

    Now I have no issue with military kit being used for HADR operations, and/or in support of civil powers. In fact I have been involved in some HADR and SAR operations where there was military support and it was very much appreciated. However, to have a selection's made role or focus be on civilian as opposed to military missions would be to use the NZDF to fund a sort of national police, fire or EMS capability, or some other similar role, all the while doing so at the expense of needed military or naval capabilities within the NZDF.
     
  6. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    As a multi-engine converion/navigation trainer/VIP/light (very light) transport the B350 is more than adequate and I have no issue with I just feel as a 2nd tier to the P8 than yes a more capable platform such as C295 would be more ideal as the more it can cover (literally) then the more pressure it can take off the primary P8 and with such a small fleet every bit will help especially into the future. B350 would be more of a local/national solution whereas C295 could be a national/regional asset leaving P8 to the regional/international missions.

    If suitable runways for P8 are a problem even here in NZ than the islands will surely have the same considerations so a more suitable platform can only provide more options and while yes technically B350 can deploy a C295 can deploy more self sufficiently with the required ground support, personnel etc etc and therfore deploy longer if needed.

    As a bonus the modular nature of the C295 makes it a true multi-role aircraft meaning it can just as easily re-role and now be 2nd tier to our primary air transport fleet if and when needed as depending on what is eventually selected and numbers acquired could have similar deficiencies as our maritime fleet. Our current fleet of hercs was considered insufficient and therefore overworked with the withdraw of the Andover so again relieving the pressure on the lesser missions can only help in the long run.

    I liken the P8s to the frigates and B350s to the IPVs when supposedly we need OPVs ie C295 with similar applications and considerations. Something to think about as to which is more future proofed, B350 or C295? and the fine line between cost effective and cheap.
     
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  7. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I’m not a fan of diverting defence funding to firefighting aviation assets, the drain on funds is far too great.
    I read today that there are over 500 aviation platforms fighting fires in Oz so being curios I searched and found details for the 2016 fleet.
    It’s huge and way beyond defence’s resources.
    Interesting reading.

    500 Aircraft Fighting Fires Across Australia - Aviation Spotters Online
     
  8. Novascotiaboy

    Novascotiaboy Active Member

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    Assail my point was not to fund dedicated firefighting aircraft from military funding but for government to purchase aircraft that can be as multi functional as possible. The roll on roll off firefighting package should be funded by the FES budget.

    The NZG will never unilaterally engage in an aggresive military action on its own. As such contributions to allied operatiins will be small and specialized. The rest of the time the air crews and the aircraft need to be engaged in training to keep skills up. What better way than to support the nation as a whole using the skills and equipment available.
     
  9. oldsig127

    oldsig127 Active Member

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    Personal opinion, utility in such roles should be a happy accident rather than even a small part of the "requirement". Put it in there as required, r even as favourable will inevitably lead to external pressure on politicians and Defence to get the best possible civilian function even at the cost of military function. Watch out for the wedge.

    oldsig
     
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  10. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    http://airforce.mil.nz/downloads/pdf/airforce-news/afn210.pdf

    The first Air Force news of 2019 is out.

    Nothing too new in the contents, but one intriguing line from the CAF in his introduction:

    This means continuing to prepare ourselves for the P-8, and working towards complementary surveillance capabilities, plus major decisions about replacement of our iconic C-130s.

    I may be reading too much into it, but complementary surveillance capabilities sounds like more than a few KingAir350s that have already been leased.
     
  11. RegR

    RegR Active Member

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    I note the irony in the air mobility article of not only providing a pic but detailing the lost Andover capability in reference to our outputs, albeit past tense.
     
  12. Gibbo

    Gibbo Active Member

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    My understanding is the KA350 fleet now in service will have 2 a/c configured for light MPA duties and will primarily be used in this role if & when available if called upon but with training their primary role. Remembering these are in service now and will enable the RNZAF get to know what a light MPA capability is able to provide and allow them to refine their longer term requirements from such a platform.

    The future complimentary capability is just that - future. The assumption is this will be timed to coincide with arrival of the P8 & decomm of the P3 fleet. Anybody's guess as to whether the current KA350 will retain 2 a/c in that configuration once the complimentary capability comes on board. I think the upshot is it appears likely there will be additional airframes over & above the current KA350 fleet for that role however they could plausibly be more KA350 but ones 'properly' fitted out for the MPA role...or it could be a mid-size twin....the DCP is due out next month supposedly so that should hopefully cast some light on requirements.
     
  13. Gibbo

    Gibbo Active Member

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    Think it's just a accurate reflection of history, but given Ron Mark has (in response to the Kaikoura earthquake where Hercs couldn't land) stated he felt there was a need for an Andover sized twin then one could suggest the forthcoming DCP could identify such a requirement. Guess we'll know in a month or so unless it's delayed again, which is normal it seems! I'm not about to discuss the need or likelihood of such a platform but just noted your point about the Andover.
     
  14. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If a C-130H on a tactical approach couldn't land at Kaikoura then other reasonably sized tactical transport aircraft may well have had the same problem. As for getting out ....

    The NH90 was envisaged to replace the UH-1 Huey (15) and Andover (4 were left when type was withdrawn in June 1998 and replaced by the KA200 in MEPT/VIP role, but 5 withdrawn in the utility transport role in mid-late 1996 and were never replaced, one was earlier stripped, dismantled and used as cabin layout pattern then fire training hulk) with respect to tactical air mobility.
     
  15. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Just to throw this into the mix and given the performance of the current NZG, I just wonder if they are seriously considering at the KC-390 and maybe it is to be the Herc replacement. I do like the KC-390, but it's not operated by any of the FEYES, therefore meaning it carries significant more risk than the C-130J.

    Boeing And Embraer Expand KC-390 Sales Talks

    Regarding Kaikoura and the C-130. I think that the C-130s are able to get in and out of Kaikoura, however at the time the Kaikoura airfield would not have been deemed usable because of the earthquake and until a proper engineering assessment was undertaken, would've remained off limits to all aircraft. At some stage light aircraft may have been able to operate from it, but larger twin engined aircraft and the C-130, would've been a different story.
     
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  16. Kiwigov

    Kiwigov Member

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    A question for a pro - does the KC-390 have the range to take a useful load to and from Antarctica to NZ, in case of a weather out at McMurdo? Referencing the (in)famous McCully misadventure of some years back. Govt may be keen to do a wholesale C-130 and 757 replacement at an attractive (second) launch customer price (after Portugal), especially given the brochure attractions of the KC-390 fit-out. Embraer has certainly been very active in pushing the product to NZ
     
  17. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    No it doesn't. The max range that I can find for it is 2,900 miles and I presume that figure is statute miles, not nautical miles. The distance from Christchurch to McMurdo is about 2,100 nautical miles and that doesn't take into account variables such as weather, especially head winds. However if a second KC-390 was launched from Invercargill, it could refuel the first at some point further south, then it may have the capability to RTNZ if conditions at McMurdo prevent a landing. The point to remember though is that the C-130H(NZ) replacement is for a tactical airlifter, not a strategic airlifter per se, so whilst being able to reach McMurdo is in the nice to have basket, it isn't a necessity. That necessity is for the strategic airlifter.
     
  18. Novascotiaboy

    Novascotiaboy Active Member

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    Ngati your link was limited to subscribers only. It’s interesting to read concerns from mid January from the Portuguese about the rising costs of a KC390 purchase and possibly looking to alternatives such as the LM C130J and A400.

    I agree that the KC390 appears to tick many of the boxes for an excellent tactical aircraft but a direct one for one purchase of five aircraft IMHO is too low even though capability is almost 50% greater than the H model Hercules. Given the reduced number of P8s purchased the tactical replacement is likely to take on some SAR role. Even one extra aircraft and a fleet of six KC390 would be better to allow one or two away on exercise or deployment, one in training one on standby and one in maintenance and one working around the country. Five allows very little wiggle room.
     
  19. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    Embraer website says ferry range 3310 nautical miles. There are also supposed to be additional fuselage tanks available, but I don't know how much they add.
     
  20. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Thanks, but even at that it couldn't do a McMurdo trip without a PSR. There's also a difference between the ferry range and a payload range. It's a long cold swim if it's "fallen in the water" according to Eccles. I think the fuselage tanks may be at the expense of payload because they fit in the hold, but I am not 100% sure on that.