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Boeing to upgrade RNZAF Orions

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 26, 2016

13730877_838937362907251_3496302284285279370_oThe New Zealand Ministry of Defence has awarded Boeing a US$21.4 million contract to upgrade the fleet of six P-3K2 Orion aircraft with an undersea acoustics and intelligence technology that is intended to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) to more effectively find, monitor and deter submarine threats.

Boeing stated that it is currently supplying a similar system to the US Navy and the Indian Navy, and will soon install the system on Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response aircraft.

Boeing will develop, install and test the new acoustic processing capability for the RNZAF, and will provide associated airborne, ground and classroom training, and spares and maintenance support.

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Boeing Defence Australia will provide through-life support, which will continue on a year-to-year basis until the aircraft are retired. Suppliers include Safe Air, Beca and Marops, and Sonartech Atlas.

Development work will be performed in the US, with integration and testing in New Zealand.

25 Comments

  • Peter Martin

    says:

    Question How many new bells and whistles can you fit on a Zimmer frame
    Answer Ask the RNZAF

  • paul

    says:

    Now they just need a fighter squadron!!!!!

  • Jeff Atkinson

    says:

    If the zimmer frame still holds you up well,May as well keep using it

  • Keef

    says:

    Maybe we could learn a lesson from our Kiwi cousins……upgrade what we have!
    The H model Hercs could have been upgraded and kept on flying instead of giving them away and selling them…….most are still flying! Perhaps our Orion’s could keep soldiering on as well with upgrades.

  • Fabian

    says:

    If they need a fighter squadron. Their best chances will probably go to the Saab gripen e. It’s affordable, easy to run. Somewhat good range for a single engine fighter and is a moltirole fighter with dogfighting capabilities. The super hornet will probably go next in line. Although I seriously doubt they are getting a fighter squadron. For now, Australia has got the kiwis Backs.

  • Ben

    says:

    I think the kiwis were looking at upgrading to an F16 years ago for fighter aircraft. Got shelved due to cost but probably still not a bad option if they want to do it. Not sure why they wouldn’t go with the P-8 to completely replace the Orions. At the end of the day the economies of scale just aren’t there for them to have a huge defence force. With the population they have I actually think they do a very good job at getting value for money and looking at what best serves their needs. Maritime patrol would be important for the air force. As well as maintaining some kind of transport capability (the 757 has probably been a very versatile purchase) maybe just a long term replacement for the hercs (A400M?) but I really don’t think a fighter would add any value when you look at the upfront cost.

  • Jeff Atkinson

    says:

    Thats why i said the zimmer frame was right,Dont need a fighter force. Maybe the new airbus strategic a400 would fit well as it has the long range capability for antartica flights. we dont have to fight just look out for and tell the yanks

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,how can you do a good job with no airforce?

  • Mal

    says:

    NZ has a proud history of working equipment for extended periods. The RNZAF are looking at Hercules replacement (after 50 years with the same craft) the A400M is an obvious replacement choice- how many is the bigger question. P8 is also likely but not for a while yet. 757’s also on the radar for replacement. With a surplus the government must be thinking about some investments. We’ll, you’d hope anyway.

  • MikeofPerth

    says:

    ASPI released a great paper last month titled “Australian border security and unmanned maritime vehicles”. On one page they compare the stats of the RAAF’s P3 Orions, future P-8 Poseidens and MQ-4C Tritons, and the Bombardier Dash-8s that Cobham aviation operates on a contract for the ABF for maritime surveillance. I was very surprised at the cost per flight hour stats.

    Dash-8 – $6162
    Orion – $16, 619
    P-8 Poseiden – $5456
    Triton – $19,325

    I’m guessing the Poseiden is so cheap to operate because it is based on the 737 so parts and maintenance is probably easy to come by. I don’t know if the cost of operating the Dash-8 is based on the hourly cost as part of the ABF’s contract.

    From these stats it makes sense to just retire the Orion’s and order some P-8s. However, maybe the Orion’s aren’t as expensive to operate for the Kiwis and there is the acquisition cost to consider which they possibly can’t afford right now.

  • Jonny

    says:

    Have heard from the horses mouth that the P-8A is not a contender after doing take off calculations for Whenuapai AFB and it would be far too restricted. A USAF P-8A visited NZ last month and it parked up at Auckland International because it is too heavy to fit into Whenuapai. The purchase price of US$250 million is also 3/4ths of the defence budget so if they wanted multiple aircraft, it would cost them considerably.. I would say that they would learn towards the Gulfstream, C295 or even King Air Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

  • Jason

    says:

    Mike – I think that P-8 hourly number is about 1/5 of the actual number. Plus, I doubt there is a published Triton number anywhere seeing as it’s not in service yet.

    Jonny – The P-8 costs $250m? Maybe you meant $NZ, as the latest contract was more like US$160m each?

  • PAUL

    says:

    Its amazing what good maintenance & care does for zimmer frames….P3’s will be replaced by another type & Drones?. If the 757 can land at Whenuapai then a 737 should be able to. Yes Gripen NG would be a great cost effective option & uses same engine as the RAAFs F18 Supers. Its not stealthy but small & hard to detect like an F5, it would be good alongside the RAAFs new E18G while they suppress enemy air defences (SEAD) We would want 2 Saab Awacs, cheaper than the E7 Toaster..

    The RNZAF used to have a Strike wing of Upgraded A4’s with F16 Radar which were to be replaced by new F16’s from the then National Govt. However Labour Govt came into power with Helen Clark as Prime minister who decided millions could be saved by scrapping the A4’s – new F16’s & all the careers of our highly trained Pilots.! Lest we forget…… felt sorry for those guys but the RAF – RAAF & Airlines all benefitted from that.

  • Fabian

    says:

    I feel sorry for the kiwis. Some great fighter pilots came out of the Air Force and it costed money to train them, this was around 10 years ago. If the NZ government actually decides to purchase around 3 squadrons of gripen NG ( 36-48 aircraft) then the kiwis will really get into participating in a lot of things in the ANZUS treaty. The US, Australia and New Zealand will be able to simulate shooting each other out of they sky regularly. Since American some warplanes are based in northern Australia. Man the kiwis have been missing out on a lot.
    #gripenNG for NZ

  • Ben

    says:

    @ Paul – I take your point. However they don’t have no air force, their air force has no combat capability. Therefore you could argue they’ve taken the ‘force’ out of air force. I do agree but as I said it’s economies of scale. They need to make a choice between having an effective fighter wing where they could be getting better value for money on other things. An air force such as they have still has fairly versatile transport, patrol, search and rescue and training capabilities. Which fits in with what the kiwis can offer to the region. They don’t have combat capability, however they still have an army and navy. Everything just has to be on a much smaller scale as they don’t have the tax base/population to fund it. Let’s look at the geographic realities though, for purely self defence purposes if NZ is under attack, such an enemy would probably have already, conceivably overrun Australia and any regional US response. In that scenario a token force of fighter jets isn’t going to make any difference. So why go to the expense to start with?

  • Scott M

    says:

    Remember guys the P3k2 was fitted with new wings a few years ago to see them into the 2020s. they have a whole new tac rail and a new flight deck recently. paddys axe definitey got a new blade here and will be further enhanced by the anti submarine suite. i quite like the new Japanese maritime surveillance aircraft. may be thats a better option for us

  • Paul

    says:

    As per the piece in this magazine a week ago, RNZAF have only just put out a Request for Information. It is an initial fishing expedition to see who is out there, what they are offering, and what the (very approximate) costs will be. It’s far to early to say any particular platform has been ruled in or out, when the new surveillance capability isn’t scheduled to enter service until the mid-2020s.

    The tactical transport (C-130H) replacement is closer, with the RFI giving a delivery date for the first airframe as Feb 2020.

  • paul

    says:

    It is so sad that Helen Clark got rid of the fast jet force.They will never rectify this.The RAF and especially the RAAF have benefited from this with NZ pilots.One in particular is Easty,which he is one of the best fast jet pilot in the world.Lets hope they do get this capability back.GO HARD EASTY!!!

  • mike9

    says:

    why is the obvious question about fighters ?. I remember ex prime minister David LANGE describing New Zealand as a dagger poised to strike at the heart on Antarctica. Strategically described as being so far away from any threats as to be non threatening to anyone. so maybe as a supporting force to Australia.

  • Craigy

    says:

    Strategically, New Zealand doesn’t need fighters. For the number they could afford and the cost to maintain a small capability, the money would be better spent on their strengths in transport and maritime patrol.

  • Derrick Aguero

    says:

    Currently there are a number of different companies that can offer a cost effective solution for the NZ air force.
    You have Embraer with the KC-390 and the EMB-145 MP
    Kawasaki p-1 MPA and C-2
    Airbus A400M and A319 MPA or C295MPA
    Just to name a few…

  • PAUL

    says:

    Most Aircraft carriers could reach NZ What if NZ had to step up its game in the Middle East like OZ or closer to home with proliferation of terrorism making its way across the globe. Anyone remember East Timor? It was a local issue & the US was confident Aussie could handle it without US support, so who’s fully bombed up A4’s were on the flight line at Darwin next to RAAF – F18’s…

  • Fabian

    says:

    Yeah true that. The A4s truely did serve the kiwis well. Even though they were outdated. They were fitted with British avionics and still were able to fly and deliver a payload. And I mean a real payload,

  • Jason

    says:

    A story about updated P-3Ks devolves into a rant about a fighter force tat was retired 15 years ago…

  • Fabian

    says:

    Back to the p-3k. Their good aircraft and can fly and do their mission well. The RAAF and the USAF have proved it well.

Leave a Comment to Scott M Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Boeing to upgrade RNZAF Orions

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 26, 2016

13730877_838937362907251_3496302284285279370_oThe New Zealand Ministry of Defence has awarded Boeing a US$21.4 million contract to upgrade the fleet of six P-3K2 Orion aircraft with an undersea acoustics and intelligence technology that is intended to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) to more effectively find, monitor and deter submarine threats.

Boeing stated that it is currently supplying a similar system to the US Navy and the Indian Navy, and will soon install the system on Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response aircraft.

Boeing will develop, install and test the new acoustic processing capability for the RNZAF, and will provide associated airborne, ground and classroom training, and spares and maintenance support.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Boeing Defence Australia will provide through-life support, which will continue on a year-to-year basis until the aircraft are retired. Suppliers include Safe Air, Beca and Marops, and Sonartech Atlas.

Development work will be performed in the US, with integration and testing in New Zealand.

25 Comments

  • Peter Martin

    says:

    Question How many new bells and whistles can you fit on a Zimmer frame
    Answer Ask the RNZAF

  • paul

    says:

    Now they just need a fighter squadron!!!!!

  • Jeff Atkinson

    says:

    If the zimmer frame still holds you up well,May as well keep using it

  • Keef

    says:

    Maybe we could learn a lesson from our Kiwi cousins……upgrade what we have!
    The H model Hercs could have been upgraded and kept on flying instead of giving them away and selling them…….most are still flying! Perhaps our Orion’s could keep soldiering on as well with upgrades.

  • Fabian

    says:

    If they need a fighter squadron. Their best chances will probably go to the Saab gripen e. It’s affordable, easy to run. Somewhat good range for a single engine fighter and is a moltirole fighter with dogfighting capabilities. The super hornet will probably go next in line. Although I seriously doubt they are getting a fighter squadron. For now, Australia has got the kiwis Backs.

  • Ben

    says:

    I think the kiwis were looking at upgrading to an F16 years ago for fighter aircraft. Got shelved due to cost but probably still not a bad option if they want to do it. Not sure why they wouldn’t go with the P-8 to completely replace the Orions. At the end of the day the economies of scale just aren’t there for them to have a huge defence force. With the population they have I actually think they do a very good job at getting value for money and looking at what best serves their needs. Maritime patrol would be important for the air force. As well as maintaining some kind of transport capability (the 757 has probably been a very versatile purchase) maybe just a long term replacement for the hercs (A400M?) but I really don’t think a fighter would add any value when you look at the upfront cost.

  • Jeff Atkinson

    says:

    Thats why i said the zimmer frame was right,Dont need a fighter force. Maybe the new airbus strategic a400 would fit well as it has the long range capability for antartica flights. we dont have to fight just look out for and tell the yanks

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,how can you do a good job with no airforce?

  • Mal

    says:

    NZ has a proud history of working equipment for extended periods. The RNZAF are looking at Hercules replacement (after 50 years with the same craft) the A400M is an obvious replacement choice- how many is the bigger question. P8 is also likely but not for a while yet. 757’s also on the radar for replacement. With a surplus the government must be thinking about some investments. We’ll, you’d hope anyway.

  • MikeofPerth

    says:

    ASPI released a great paper last month titled “Australian border security and unmanned maritime vehicles”. On one page they compare the stats of the RAAF’s P3 Orions, future P-8 Poseidens and MQ-4C Tritons, and the Bombardier Dash-8s that Cobham aviation operates on a contract for the ABF for maritime surveillance. I was very surprised at the cost per flight hour stats.

    Dash-8 – $6162
    Orion – $16, 619
    P-8 Poseiden – $5456
    Triton – $19,325

    I’m guessing the Poseiden is so cheap to operate because it is based on the 737 so parts and maintenance is probably easy to come by. I don’t know if the cost of operating the Dash-8 is based on the hourly cost as part of the ABF’s contract.

    From these stats it makes sense to just retire the Orion’s and order some P-8s. However, maybe the Orion’s aren’t as expensive to operate for the Kiwis and there is the acquisition cost to consider which they possibly can’t afford right now.

  • Jonny

    says:

    Have heard from the horses mouth that the P-8A is not a contender after doing take off calculations for Whenuapai AFB and it would be far too restricted. A USAF P-8A visited NZ last month and it parked up at Auckland International because it is too heavy to fit into Whenuapai. The purchase price of US$250 million is also 3/4ths of the defence budget so if they wanted multiple aircraft, it would cost them considerably.. I would say that they would learn towards the Gulfstream, C295 or even King Air Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

  • Jason

    says:

    Mike – I think that P-8 hourly number is about 1/5 of the actual number. Plus, I doubt there is a published Triton number anywhere seeing as it’s not in service yet.

    Jonny – The P-8 costs $250m? Maybe you meant $NZ, as the latest contract was more like US$160m each?

  • PAUL

    says:

    Its amazing what good maintenance & care does for zimmer frames….P3’s will be replaced by another type & Drones?. If the 757 can land at Whenuapai then a 737 should be able to. Yes Gripen NG would be a great cost effective option & uses same engine as the RAAFs F18 Supers. Its not stealthy but small & hard to detect like an F5, it would be good alongside the RAAFs new E18G while they suppress enemy air defences (SEAD) We would want 2 Saab Awacs, cheaper than the E7 Toaster..

    The RNZAF used to have a Strike wing of Upgraded A4’s with F16 Radar which were to be replaced by new F16’s from the then National Govt. However Labour Govt came into power with Helen Clark as Prime minister who decided millions could be saved by scrapping the A4’s – new F16’s & all the careers of our highly trained Pilots.! Lest we forget…… felt sorry for those guys but the RAF – RAAF & Airlines all benefitted from that.

  • Fabian

    says:

    I feel sorry for the kiwis. Some great fighter pilots came out of the Air Force and it costed money to train them, this was around 10 years ago. If the NZ government actually decides to purchase around 3 squadrons of gripen NG ( 36-48 aircraft) then the kiwis will really get into participating in a lot of things in the ANZUS treaty. The US, Australia and New Zealand will be able to simulate shooting each other out of they sky regularly. Since American some warplanes are based in northern Australia. Man the kiwis have been missing out on a lot.
    #gripenNG for NZ

  • Ben

    says:

    @ Paul – I take your point. However they don’t have no air force, their air force has no combat capability. Therefore you could argue they’ve taken the ‘force’ out of air force. I do agree but as I said it’s economies of scale. They need to make a choice between having an effective fighter wing where they could be getting better value for money on other things. An air force such as they have still has fairly versatile transport, patrol, search and rescue and training capabilities. Which fits in with what the kiwis can offer to the region. They don’t have combat capability, however they still have an army and navy. Everything just has to be on a much smaller scale as they don’t have the tax base/population to fund it. Let’s look at the geographic realities though, for purely self defence purposes if NZ is under attack, such an enemy would probably have already, conceivably overrun Australia and any regional US response. In that scenario a token force of fighter jets isn’t going to make any difference. So why go to the expense to start with?

  • Scott M

    says:

    Remember guys the P3k2 was fitted with new wings a few years ago to see them into the 2020s. they have a whole new tac rail and a new flight deck recently. paddys axe definitey got a new blade here and will be further enhanced by the anti submarine suite. i quite like the new Japanese maritime surveillance aircraft. may be thats a better option for us

  • Paul

    says:

    As per the piece in this magazine a week ago, RNZAF have only just put out a Request for Information. It is an initial fishing expedition to see who is out there, what they are offering, and what the (very approximate) costs will be. It’s far to early to say any particular platform has been ruled in or out, when the new surveillance capability isn’t scheduled to enter service until the mid-2020s.

    The tactical transport (C-130H) replacement is closer, with the RFI giving a delivery date for the first airframe as Feb 2020.

  • paul

    says:

    It is so sad that Helen Clark got rid of the fast jet force.They will never rectify this.The RAF and especially the RAAF have benefited from this with NZ pilots.One in particular is Easty,which he is one of the best fast jet pilot in the world.Lets hope they do get this capability back.GO HARD EASTY!!!

  • mike9

    says:

    why is the obvious question about fighters ?. I remember ex prime minister David LANGE describing New Zealand as a dagger poised to strike at the heart on Antarctica. Strategically described as being so far away from any threats as to be non threatening to anyone. so maybe as a supporting force to Australia.

  • Craigy

    says:

    Strategically, New Zealand doesn’t need fighters. For the number they could afford and the cost to maintain a small capability, the money would be better spent on their strengths in transport and maritime patrol.

  • Derrick Aguero

    says:

    Currently there are a number of different companies that can offer a cost effective solution for the NZ air force.
    You have Embraer with the KC-390 and the EMB-145 MP
    Kawasaki p-1 MPA and C-2
    Airbus A400M and A319 MPA or C295MPA
    Just to name a few…

  • PAUL

    says:

    Most Aircraft carriers could reach NZ What if NZ had to step up its game in the Middle East like OZ or closer to home with proliferation of terrorism making its way across the globe. Anyone remember East Timor? It was a local issue & the US was confident Aussie could handle it without US support, so who’s fully bombed up A4’s were on the flight line at Darwin next to RAAF – F18’s…

  • Fabian

    says:

    Yeah true that. The A4s truely did serve the kiwis well. Even though they were outdated. They were fitted with British avionics and still were able to fly and deliver a payload. And I mean a real payload,

  • Jason

    says:

    A story about updated P-3Ks devolves into a rant about a fighter force tat was retired 15 years ago…

  • Fabian

    says:

    Back to the p-3k. Their good aircraft and can fly and do their mission well. The RAAF and the USAF have proved it well.

Leave a Comment to Scott M Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Boeing to upgrade RNZAF Orions

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 26, 2016

13730877_838937362907251_3496302284285279370_oThe New Zealand Ministry of Defence has awarded Boeing a US$21.4 million contract to upgrade the fleet of six P-3K2 Orion aircraft with an undersea acoustics and intelligence technology that is intended to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) to more effectively find, monitor and deter submarine threats.

Boeing stated that it is currently supplying a similar system to the US Navy and the Indian Navy, and will soon install the system on Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response aircraft.

Boeing will develop, install and test the new acoustic processing capability for the RNZAF, and will provide associated airborne, ground and classroom training, and spares and maintenance support.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Boeing Defence Australia will provide through-life support, which will continue on a year-to-year basis until the aircraft are retired. Suppliers include Safe Air, Beca and Marops, and Sonartech Atlas.

Development work will be performed in the US, with integration and testing in New Zealand.

25 Comments

  • Peter Martin

    says:

    Question How many new bells and whistles can you fit on a Zimmer frame
    Answer Ask the RNZAF

  • paul

    says:

    Now they just need a fighter squadron!!!!!

  • Jeff Atkinson

    says:

    If the zimmer frame still holds you up well,May as well keep using it

  • Keef

    says:

    Maybe we could learn a lesson from our Kiwi cousins……upgrade what we have!
    The H model Hercs could have been upgraded and kept on flying instead of giving them away and selling them…….most are still flying! Perhaps our Orion’s could keep soldiering on as well with upgrades.

  • Fabian

    says:

    If they need a fighter squadron. Their best chances will probably go to the Saab gripen e. It’s affordable, easy to run. Somewhat good range for a single engine fighter and is a moltirole fighter with dogfighting capabilities. The super hornet will probably go next in line. Although I seriously doubt they are getting a fighter squadron. For now, Australia has got the kiwis Backs.

  • Ben

    says:

    I think the kiwis were looking at upgrading to an F16 years ago for fighter aircraft. Got shelved due to cost but probably still not a bad option if they want to do it. Not sure why they wouldn’t go with the P-8 to completely replace the Orions. At the end of the day the economies of scale just aren’t there for them to have a huge defence force. With the population they have I actually think they do a very good job at getting value for money and looking at what best serves their needs. Maritime patrol would be important for the air force. As well as maintaining some kind of transport capability (the 757 has probably been a very versatile purchase) maybe just a long term replacement for the hercs (A400M?) but I really don’t think a fighter would add any value when you look at the upfront cost.

  • Jeff Atkinson

    says:

    Thats why i said the zimmer frame was right,Dont need a fighter force. Maybe the new airbus strategic a400 would fit well as it has the long range capability for antartica flights. we dont have to fight just look out for and tell the yanks

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,how can you do a good job with no airforce?

  • Mal

    says:

    NZ has a proud history of working equipment for extended periods. The RNZAF are looking at Hercules replacement (after 50 years with the same craft) the A400M is an obvious replacement choice- how many is the bigger question. P8 is also likely but not for a while yet. 757’s also on the radar for replacement. With a surplus the government must be thinking about some investments. We’ll, you’d hope anyway.

  • MikeofPerth

    says:

    ASPI released a great paper last month titled “Australian border security and unmanned maritime vehicles”. On one page they compare the stats of the RAAF’s P3 Orions, future P-8 Poseidens and MQ-4C Tritons, and the Bombardier Dash-8s that Cobham aviation operates on a contract for the ABF for maritime surveillance. I was very surprised at the cost per flight hour stats.

    Dash-8 – $6162
    Orion – $16, 619
    P-8 Poseiden – $5456
    Triton – $19,325

    I’m guessing the Poseiden is so cheap to operate because it is based on the 737 so parts and maintenance is probably easy to come by. I don’t know if the cost of operating the Dash-8 is based on the hourly cost as part of the ABF’s contract.

    From these stats it makes sense to just retire the Orion’s and order some P-8s. However, maybe the Orion’s aren’t as expensive to operate for the Kiwis and there is the acquisition cost to consider which they possibly can’t afford right now.

  • Jonny

    says:

    Have heard from the horses mouth that the P-8A is not a contender after doing take off calculations for Whenuapai AFB and it would be far too restricted. A USAF P-8A visited NZ last month and it parked up at Auckland International because it is too heavy to fit into Whenuapai. The purchase price of US$250 million is also 3/4ths of the defence budget so if they wanted multiple aircraft, it would cost them considerably.. I would say that they would learn towards the Gulfstream, C295 or even King Air Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

  • Jason

    says:

    Mike – I think that P-8 hourly number is about 1/5 of the actual number. Plus, I doubt there is a published Triton number anywhere seeing as it’s not in service yet.

    Jonny – The P-8 costs $250m? Maybe you meant $NZ, as the latest contract was more like US$160m each?

  • PAUL

    says:

    Its amazing what good maintenance & care does for zimmer frames….P3’s will be replaced by another type & Drones?. If the 757 can land at Whenuapai then a 737 should be able to. Yes Gripen NG would be a great cost effective option & uses same engine as the RAAFs F18 Supers. Its not stealthy but small & hard to detect like an F5, it would be good alongside the RAAFs new E18G while they suppress enemy air defences (SEAD) We would want 2 Saab Awacs, cheaper than the E7 Toaster..

    The RNZAF used to have a Strike wing of Upgraded A4’s with F16 Radar which were to be replaced by new F16’s from the then National Govt. However Labour Govt came into power with Helen Clark as Prime minister who decided millions could be saved by scrapping the A4’s – new F16’s & all the careers of our highly trained Pilots.! Lest we forget…… felt sorry for those guys but the RAF – RAAF & Airlines all benefitted from that.

  • Fabian

    says:

    I feel sorry for the kiwis. Some great fighter pilots came out of the Air Force and it costed money to train them, this was around 10 years ago. If the NZ government actually decides to purchase around 3 squadrons of gripen NG ( 36-48 aircraft) then the kiwis will really get into participating in a lot of things in the ANZUS treaty. The US, Australia and New Zealand will be able to simulate shooting each other out of they sky regularly. Since American some warplanes are based in northern Australia. Man the kiwis have been missing out on a lot.
    #gripenNG for NZ

  • Ben

    says:

    @ Paul – I take your point. However they don’t have no air force, their air force has no combat capability. Therefore you could argue they’ve taken the ‘force’ out of air force. I do agree but as I said it’s economies of scale. They need to make a choice between having an effective fighter wing where they could be getting better value for money on other things. An air force such as they have still has fairly versatile transport, patrol, search and rescue and training capabilities. Which fits in with what the kiwis can offer to the region. They don’t have combat capability, however they still have an army and navy. Everything just has to be on a much smaller scale as they don’t have the tax base/population to fund it. Let’s look at the geographic realities though, for purely self defence purposes if NZ is under attack, such an enemy would probably have already, conceivably overrun Australia and any regional US response. In that scenario a token force of fighter jets isn’t going to make any difference. So why go to the expense to start with?

  • Scott M

    says:

    Remember guys the P3k2 was fitted with new wings a few years ago to see them into the 2020s. they have a whole new tac rail and a new flight deck recently. paddys axe definitey got a new blade here and will be further enhanced by the anti submarine suite. i quite like the new Japanese maritime surveillance aircraft. may be thats a better option for us

  • Paul

    says:

    As per the piece in this magazine a week ago, RNZAF have only just put out a Request for Information. It is an initial fishing expedition to see who is out there, what they are offering, and what the (very approximate) costs will be. It’s far to early to say any particular platform has been ruled in or out, when the new surveillance capability isn’t scheduled to enter service until the mid-2020s.

    The tactical transport (C-130H) replacement is closer, with the RFI giving a delivery date for the first airframe as Feb 2020.

  • paul

    says:

    It is so sad that Helen Clark got rid of the fast jet force.They will never rectify this.The RAF and especially the RAAF have benefited from this with NZ pilots.One in particular is Easty,which he is one of the best fast jet pilot in the world.Lets hope they do get this capability back.GO HARD EASTY!!!

  • mike9

    says:

    why is the obvious question about fighters ?. I remember ex prime minister David LANGE describing New Zealand as a dagger poised to strike at the heart on Antarctica. Strategically described as being so far away from any threats as to be non threatening to anyone. so maybe as a supporting force to Australia.

  • Craigy

    says:

    Strategically, New Zealand doesn’t need fighters. For the number they could afford and the cost to maintain a small capability, the money would be better spent on their strengths in transport and maritime patrol.

  • Derrick Aguero

    says:

    Currently there are a number of different companies that can offer a cost effective solution for the NZ air force.
    You have Embraer with the KC-390 and the EMB-145 MP
    Kawasaki p-1 MPA and C-2
    Airbus A400M and A319 MPA or C295MPA
    Just to name a few…

  • PAUL

    says:

    Most Aircraft carriers could reach NZ What if NZ had to step up its game in the Middle East like OZ or closer to home with proliferation of terrorism making its way across the globe. Anyone remember East Timor? It was a local issue & the US was confident Aussie could handle it without US support, so who’s fully bombed up A4’s were on the flight line at Darwin next to RAAF – F18’s…

  • Fabian

    says:

    Yeah true that. The A4s truely did serve the kiwis well. Even though they were outdated. They were fitted with British avionics and still were able to fly and deliver a payload. And I mean a real payload,

  • Jason

    says:

    A story about updated P-3Ks devolves into a rant about a fighter force tat was retired 15 years ago…

  • Fabian

    says:

    Back to the p-3k. Their good aircraft and can fly and do their mission well. The RAAF and the USAF have proved it well.

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