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Discussion in 'Air Force & Aviation' started by Lucasnz, Jul 17, 2006.
The estimates for the P-8 milestones have been released with FOC in 2025.
Very informative. Interesting milestones - Flyable at Boeing Q2 2022. Initial operating capacity Jul 2023 as shown. Great potential and advancement for the RNZAF
These two projects in my view are likely to have some synergies with one informing the other as well as laying the ground work for the introduction of later new capabilities
Enhanced Maritime Awareness Capability
177. The Enhanced Maritime Awareness Capability project will support the Government’s civil maritime security strategy, providing air surveillance capabilities that enhance all-of-Government maritime domain awareness in New Zealand and the Southern Ocean. The capabilities delivered through this investment will be dedicated to civil surveillance requirements, with Defence support for their delivery and operation. This will free up the new P-8A maritime patrol aircraft fleet to fly more missions in the South Pacific and further afield. Investment in a range of capabilities will be considered, including satellite surveillance, unmanned aerial vehicles and traditional fixed-wing surveillance.
Industry engagement commences – Currently underway
Request for tender – 2020
Introduction into Service – 2023
Indicative capital cost:
Future Air Crew Training Capability
180. The recently acquired King Air 350 have allowed the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct air crew training domestically, improving Defence’s resilience and sustainability. The leased aircraft will require replacement in the mid-2020s with a training platform that reflects the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s modern fleet of aircraft, following the introduction of the P-8A Poseidon, C-130H replacement, and strategic airlift capability.
Industry engagement commences – 2024
Request for tender – 2026
Introduction into Service – 2028
Interestingly the FATC does not as yet have an indicated cost, though the EMAC indicates up to $600m. However if there is for example $600m allocated across both projects quite a bit can be achieved making a significant impact.
In light of the P-8, the Strategic FAMC and the C130-J being the principal future heavies one wonders if prop KA-350 era will be over as the primary twin engine training platform for pilots / aircrew. I also note that it is likely that both fixed wing and small RPAS (in other words a range of solutions) will cover the 2nd tier ISR role - as it being the thinking within Defence for some time.
I have pondered the Pilatus PC-24 being one candidate of immense potential once the current KA-350 lease runs out. Pilatus has a strong history in providing training products as well as ISR capabilities currently seen in the Spectre capability. Added to that PC-24's rough field, medevac, light transport, VIP capabilities all on the one baseline $10.8m platform.
With the funding of a Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Capability post 2030 to support land and maritime forces with improved, continuous intelligence and surveillance, it may be that the Enhanced Maritime Awareness Capability project to be IOC by 2023 that a smaller RPAS such as the Sea Guardian will be a developmental step towards a more ambitious, possibly Triton capability post 2030.
SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System takes off - Defsec
I was surprised to see they plan to replace the KA350's so soon. They only just came into service. The PC-24 looks like a nice option though.
It will be interesting to see what kind of option they go with to complement the P-8's. Sounds like they are taking a very open minded approach, and it may end up being a combination of the options listed.
It may be a bit of a long shot, but the ShinMaywa US-2 looks like an interesting option. It could provide a nice option for light resupply missions to NZ's outer islands, and missions to small pacific islands with no runway. It would also be a nice search and rescue and firefighting asset, and it uses the same engines as the C130J in terms of maintenance commonality.
I have yet to see a definitive answer yet as to whether 5 sqn will move to Ohakea as a complete unit, including P3's as they transition to the P8 or will they operate as a split unit until the final phase out of the P3 in 2025. There are pro's and con's for both approaches and there has been the normal miss information locally to both approaches.
It's not really a case of replacing them as they are leased but more the contract coming up for renewal so all depends on who wins the contract. If the current crew has the better deal, options, package etc to suit RNZAF needs at the time then the contract would just rollover otherwise if someone bids with say Mr Cs PC24s and they tick all the boxes + at a favourable price then they may take over. The last King airs had a similar time frame we just did not really notice as they were outwardly the same aircraft with new avionics.
I would think the P3s would retire out of base Auckland and a maritime transition Unit sets up in the new OH facility much like 3 Sqn handled it's changeover, albeit with bases rather than facilities for a more staged move/close down. Although if they did want to have both units on base then there is the option of 5 sqn utilising the ex 3 Sqn hanger as well for the transition.
The PC-24 does tick the boxes and I read the other day that Pilatus have reopened the order books. Belgium has received DSCA approval to acquire 4 MQ-9B SkyGuardian UAV plus two fixed certifiable ground control stations; five AN/DAS-4 multi-spectral targeting systems; 15 embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems; five AN/APY-8 Lynx synthetic aperture radars; and five detect-and-avoid systems. The contract also includes spare and repair parts, personnel training, technical and logistics support services and other related program support estimated at US$600 million, which is about NZ$925 million at the moment. So that's possibly what we could be looking at: roughly NZ$700 - 900 million depending upon how many aircraft we bought.
Going through the US DoD budget documents on the MQ-9B programme for FY2020 it seems that the initial MDE + GFE cost is USD$360m (NZ$555m) for 4 airframes with the remainder life of type costs square with what Belgium will end up paying. Bear in mind that the NZDF will likely work in with the US DoD and the ADF in terms of production block scheduling and WoL support to gain costing efficiencies if they are seeking a MQ-9 solution (Note that FY 22, 23 and 24 still have production slots available) and that the payload package we would be after is maritime specific compared to the Sky Guardian.
Even though it would send the softnecks into a frenzy, if we did get these (type) I would love to see a full weapons package optioned if even for future proofing and not regular use. Better IMO to have and not use than need and not have as this is as close as I see us to getting near an ACF.
Sometimes I wish we could get capability without fully disclosing all its abilities or at least wildly understate that way we could just buy the big fisheries drones and everyone would be happy, including the softnecks.
Edit: that would be the size package I would expect us to get as well ngati so at least a baseline to hopefully start/gauge from.
PARIS: Lockheed unveils maritime patrol kit for C-130 Hercules
In case NZ is interested, Lockheed Martin appear to have backed off from their earlier dedicated 'Sea Hercules' concept in favour of a palletised roll-on roll-off maritime surveillance capability. It could be a relatively cost-effective way of boosting NZ's medium-long range SAR and fisheries patrol capabilities, while freeing up the P-8s for more specialised missions.
AFA 2018: Lockheed Martin targets C-130J-30 wing fuel increase | Jane's 360
In another article from last year, LM revealed that they were looking at boosting the internal fuel capacity of the C-130J by a couple of tonnes. If they have succeeded, that would be a welcome modification for NZ. Though obviously it doesn't change the fundamental range/payload tradeoff.
2 considerations I can see us looking at for obvious reasons. I wonder if we would also retain the wing tanks (as not all Js do) for that extra distance as well as would all add up especially for the likes of Antarctic flights albeit with the weight trade off. I would like to see us get more Js ie 6-8 fitted for the likes of the maritime pod with 1-2 dedicated to this role as a much needed supplement to the P8s. Hopefully we also stump for the extras and future proof from the start with the ISR, SOF and even fuelling options for max options so hopefully our negotiators wear their best wheeling and dealing hats come crunch time.
As I understand the Beehive press releases, the Govt is going straight for the US 'Foreign Military Sales' approach - so the RNZAF could only go for variants which the US military has already purchased. This supports a view that only a standard C-130J-30 option will be selected, which would also avoid any developmental risk and (hopefully) expedite delivery from the LM production line
Haha tbh government reasoning will be why we will get any vanilla option, specifically why we got the Hercules in the first place ie it is the safest bet, least risk adverse and good to go. In saying that between USAF, USMC and USCG the US has some spec in their fleets so has all of that either already or in the pipeline (you would be a fool not to target the US market for any of these upgrades). I'm not saying we need to build anything unique as I would assume US would be future proofing their current new builds (especially off the factory floor) but at least tick the options box now rather than "save" money and then attempt a costly retrofit later. I would hope the same for our P8s as well, ie the latest version available not the original version because. Oh yes definately J-30s, if only to somewhat compensate for the added lift required but at least plumbed for upgrades from the outset.
Well, there's the KC-130J operated by the USMC, plus all the other C-130J variants operated by the various US SOF community. So we are spoilt for choice. Having said that, unfortunately the budget won't support sampling such a wide choice, bugger.
It's hard to say Reg because the P-8 and these are being bought under the new procurement regime, so such future proofing maybe included, but then whilst MOD and NZDF would certainly be open to it, remember we are dealing with pollies and Treasury, both of whom have one track minds; addiction to vote collecting in the case of the former and a serious allergic reaction to spending money in the case of the latter.
Agreed Ngati, one can only hope while the cheque books out of storage, but yes I can fully see us getting bells without the whistles and stepping off on the back foot. Even the Aussies are upgrading their "seasoned" Js now but I guess beggars can't be choosers at this point and we're finally replacing the Vietnam vets so to speak.
Going FMS does not mean we will we getting only an exact replica of a current in service US military aircraft, that only a vanilla platform is what we will get. We will be able to specify additional items, spares, support contracts or services alongside the MDE if that particular item is on the list of furnished US government equipment from an approved contractor.
Warbirds Over Wanaka have announced that Pilatus will be making the NZ debut of the PC-24 at next years Warbirds Over Wanaka, so for those interested could be worth a road trip / plane flight.
Pilatus PC-24's New Zealand debut » Warbirds Over Wanaka
It will be interesting to see if any operator in NZ buys it. i think it's pretty cool in what it can do but who would need it here?
Lifeflight at some stage will need to replace their ageing Jetstreams, and the other significant medevac player Hawkes Bay Air Ambulance who contract Skyline Aviation to operate a Cessna Mustang and their XT-400 has the contract for medevac into the South Pacific as well as 4 King Airs is the other medevac player. On the business charter front Air Charter Services have number of Business jets and King Airs. Airwork can offer charters from King Airs through to B734 Freighters. Pacific Jets have four jets and Jet Black a similar number. Then of course there is potential in the RNZAF fleet as a KA-350 replacement in the Future Air Crew Training Capability and Enhanced Maritime Awareness Capability as per DCP19 in another 6 years when the current lease ends.