Author Topic: NZ Defence Acquisitions  (Read 3283 times)

Offline perttime

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Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2016, 04:12:17 PM »
Every so often someone suggests the RNZAF should've gone for/should get Gripen. What're y'all's thoughts about that?

IMHO the Gripen would be an excellent choice for the RNZAF.  Far better in fact than the F-16s that were looked at.  That said, I understand and can agree with the New Zealand Govt's choice to do away with their fighter capability.  Take the emotion out of it and one can see that it was far better for New Zealand to spend their limited Defence budget on helicopters, army and the like.
I think many European countries frequently use their fighters for checking out unidentified visitors at the borders. I suspect there's less need for that in NZ?

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Re: Saab JAS-39 Gripen
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2016, 12:56:47 AM »
Now a RNZAF C-17 would be something ---

It was seriously looked at though deemed impossible due to there only being one C-17 left available (NZ needed at least two),  All others are already allocated and the C-17 is out of production.

Even one is better than none, allied countries who do have them could always co-operate when the demand is for them. The Canadian ones have been very busy ever since they got them.  Mind you I see British ones more so than the Canadian ones at Calgary International where I work
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 12:59:42 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline perttime

  • The man has produced a Finnish Napier Heston Fighter...need we say more?
Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2016, 01:35:16 AM »

Even one is better than none, allied countries who do have them could always co-operate when the demand is for them.
Even Finland (not in NATO) gets to use one. We own none, but share in some sort of a European deal.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Re: Saab JAS-39 Gripen
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2016, 02:14:17 AM »
Even one is better than none, allied countries who do have them could always co-operate when the demand is for them. The Canadian ones have been very busy ever since they got them.  Mind you I see British ones more so than the Canadian ones at Calgary International where I work

One is not practical from a operational perspective nor is it cost effective.  Two is the minimum you need here and was what NZ were looking at.


Even Finland (not in NATO) gets to use one. We own none, but share in some sort of a European deal.

But that would be part of a larger pool which is what makes it possible/practical.  NZ was looking for an indigenous capability.  Mind you a joint ANZAC solution would have been workable.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 02:15:54 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2016, 02:16:27 AM »

I think many European countries frequently use their fighters for checking out unidentified visitors at the borders. I suspect there's less need for that in NZ?

I think a UAV would be ideal for that.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2016, 02:22:39 AM »
NZs procurement and naval engineering / project management is in general far superior, their problem being political disinterest and limited money. 

I sense a touch of "the grass is always greener..." here.

The system that successfully acquired the Leopards, FFGs, Fremantles, F/A-18, Seahawks, Blackhawks, ANZACs and Collins to name a few (with no major program failures to mention) was replaced with a very bureaucratic system that resulted in the Super Sea Sprite, FFGUP, LCM2000, MU90, MRH90, ARH Tiger, M-113 upgrade, multiple attempts at an ANZAC upgrade before something reasonable resulted (but with platform issues yet to be addressed), Armidale Class Patrol Boats, Vigilaire, etc.  Basically procurement and project management became more onerous and difficult, accountability disappeared, ownership was often impossible to determine, service requirements were often ignored, industrial requirements were ignored except where pork was involved, and at the end of the day many decisions were made personally by the PM.

Be careful you aren't looking at things with a touch of 'rose coloured glasses'.  I think you will find that those programs had just as many issues during procurement as we have today - just look at the Collins class for one (it had major enquiries etc in to its procurement).  Moreover, there were a number of programs that were cancelled or simply didn't get going or were straight-out delayed.  Yes, one could argue that was often political though no more/less than today.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline M.A.D

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Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2016, 09:05:47 AM »
In my opinion, the Kiwi's should have purchased Northrop F-20 Tigershark's
In fact here's the following 1983 proposal to New Zealand

1983 Northrop F-20 Tigershark proposed program cost to New Zealand


- Total program cost for a typical squadron of 18 x F-20 Tigershark aircraft.
- The flyaway price includes airframe, avionics, engine, recoupment, and appropriate administration costs.
- Support and other costs include two years of initial spares, support equipment, training and training equipment, technical publications, aircraft delivery, contract engineering and technical services, and U.S. Government administrative costs.
- Support is based on 20 flying hours per aircraft per month from one operating base with organizational and intermediate levels of maintanance capability.
- Aircraft delivery can begin 30 months after go-ahead.

Program Acquisition Cost
(1983 $, 18 aircraft)
Unit flyaway $10.7 million
Total flyaway $192.6 million
Support & other costs $80 million
Total Program $272.6 million


The F-20 would have been far more economical than the F-16, for the RNZAF.
On top of this, Australia and NZ could have possibly saved some costs in maintenance in terms of the General Electric F404 turbofan

In fact, I've always liked the notion of the RAAF operating a 'High-Lo' mix of Northrop F/A-18L and F-20's - hence maybe a joint Australian /NZ licence manufacturing of F-20!


M.A.D   


Offline Volkodav

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Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2016, 10:18:19 AM »
NZs procurement and naval engineering / project management is in general far superior, their problem being political disinterest and limited money. 

I sense a touch of "the grass is always greener..." here.

The system that successfully acquired the Leopards, FFGs, Fremantles, F/A-18, Seahawks, Blackhawks, ANZACs and Collins to name a few (with no major program failures to mention) was replaced with a very bureaucratic system that resulted in the Super Sea Sprite, FFGUP, LCM2000, MU90, MRH90, ARH Tiger, M-113 upgrade, multiple attempts at an ANZAC upgrade before something reasonable resulted (but with platform issues yet to be addressed), Armidale Class Patrol Boats, Vigilaire, etc.  Basically procurement and project management became more onerous and difficult, accountability disappeared, ownership was often impossible to determine, service requirements were often ignored, industrial requirements were ignored except where pork was involved, and at the end of the day many decisions were made personally by the PM.

Be careful you aren't looking at things with a touch of 'rose coloured glasses'.  I think you will find that those programs had just as many issues during procurement as we have today - just look at the Collins class for one (it had major enquiries etc in to its procurement).  Moreover, there were a number of programs that were cancelled or simply didn't get going or were straight-out delayed.  Yes, one could argue that was often political though no more/less than today.

Just speaking from personal experience, as well as from the fall out of Rizzo, Coles and Winter Reports etc.  Collins in particular was a project an incoming government wanted to fail for political reasons and when they couldn't justify scraping the existing hulls they hired a plagiarising sycophant to sit on the company board and destroy it from within.  Basically once reviewed by a number of impartial overseas experts it was found to have been a successful platform hamstrung by underfunding on sustainment (that ironically then cost more in remediation than doing things properly in the first place would have) and that the much maligned builder / maintainer was actually pretty good, just lacking in authority to do the job required (had to get sign off from government bean counters who didn't believe a word they said).  Proof of what I am saying, John Prescott was Chairman when most of the dodgy maintenance decisions were made, then more recently the former "anti" Industry Spokesperson, Sophie Mirabella, was appointed to the board after losing her seat in 2013, as part of a new move to discredit and kill off local capability.

Actually I should add that I spent several years seeing what ASC was proposing and being knocked back on, looking at the convoluted half measures that were done instead, wasting huge amounts of time and money trying to make successive governments versions of reality work.  I was also there when, following the Coles review in particular, the company was finally allowed to do thing the way they had been requesting to for almost the entire project, resulting in a, as far as the government and media were concerned, a miraculous turnaround.  The biggest change was a very simple one, ASC had received multiple awards and international recognition for their keyhole / insitu refurbishment on major submarine systems, when what they had always wanted to do was cut the hull and pull the systems out to work on them.  The government always refused this option but following Coles they cut the hull of the first boat in FCD, pulled out everything they needed to and delivered the completed project in record time and below cost estimates.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 11:10:14 AM by Volkodav »

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
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Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2016, 10:24:35 AM »
In my opinion, the Kiwi's should have purchased Northrop F-20 Tigershark's
In fact here's the following 1983 proposal to New Zealand

1983 Northrop F-20 Tigershark proposed program cost to New Zealand


- Total program cost for a typical squadron of 18 x F-20 Tigershark aircraft.
- The flyaway price includes airframe, avionics, engine, recoupment, and appropriate administration costs.
- Support and other costs include two years of initial spares, support equipment, training and training equipment, technical publications, aircraft delivery, contract engineering and technical services, and U.S. Government administrative costs.
- Support is based on 20 flying hours per aircraft per month from one operating base with organizational and intermediate levels of maintanance capability.
- Aircraft delivery can begin 30 months after go-ahead.

Program Acquisition Cost
(1983 $, 18 aircraft)
Unit flyaway $10.7 million
Total flyaway $192.6 million
Support & other costs $80 million
Total Program $272.6 million


The F-20 would have been far more economical than the F-16, for the RNZAF.
On top of this, Australia and NZ could have possibly saved some costs in maintenance in terms of the General Electric F404 turbofan

In fact, I've always liked the notion of the RAAF operating a 'High-Lo' mix of Northrop F/A-18L and F-20's - hence maybe a joint Australian /NZ licence manufacturing of F-20!


M.A.D

Would have saved the cost of the Kahu upgrade and buying the ex RAN airframes as well.  That said, Uncle Helen may well have scrapped the Tigersharks too as by the early 2000s they would have been due for modernisation.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2016, 10:59:18 AM »
NZs procurement and naval engineering / project management is in general far superior, their problem being political disinterest and limited money. 

I sense a touch of "the grass is always greener..." here.

The system that successfully acquired the Leopards, FFGs, Fremantles, F/A-18, Seahawks, Blackhawks, ANZACs and Collins to name a few (with no major program failures to mention) was replaced with a very bureaucratic system that resulted in the Super Sea Sprite, FFGUP, LCM2000, MU90, MRH90, ARH Tiger, M-113 upgrade, multiple attempts at an ANZAC upgrade before something reasonable resulted (but with platform issues yet to be addressed), Armidale Class Patrol Boats, Vigilaire, etc.  Basically procurement and project management became more onerous and difficult, accountability disappeared, ownership was often impossible to determine, service requirements were often ignored, industrial requirements were ignored except where pork was involved, and at the end of the day many decisions were made personally by the PM.

Be careful you aren't looking at things with a touch of 'rose coloured glasses'.  I think you will find that those programs had just as many issues during procurement as we have today - just look at the Collins class for one (it had major enquiries etc in to its procurement).  Moreover, there were a number of programs that were cancelled or simply didn't get going or were straight-out delayed.  Yes, one could argue that was often political though no more/less than today.

Just speaking from personal experience, as well as from the fall out of Rizzo, Coles and Winter Reports etc.  Collins in particular was a project an incoming government wanted to fail for political reasons and when they couldn't justify scraping the existing hulls they hired a plagiarising sycophant to sit on the company board and destroy it from within.  Basically once reviewed by a number of impartial overseas experts it was found to have been a successful platform hamstrung by underfunding on sustainment (that ironically then cost more in remediation than doing things properly in the first place would have) and that the much maligned builder / maintainer was actually pretty good, just lacking in authority to do the job required (had to get sign off from government bean counters who didn't believe a word they said).  Proof of what I am saying, John Prescott was Chairman when most of the dodgy maintenance decisions were made, then more recently the former "anti" Industry Spokesperson, Sophie Mirabella, was appointed to the board after losing her seat in 2013, as part of a new move to discredit and kill off local capability.

I've always found the present Government party, when in opposition's position on local industry rather strange, to say the least.  They loudly proclaimed that they would much rather have bought, "off the shelf" than have anything produced in Australia.  Now they are Government, they are forced to accept that a large number of local jobs (hence voters) rely upon employment in defence industries like ASC.   So, they at least make the right noises of support for local industry, even if they aren't really interested in keeping it here.

The Collins class wasn't necessarily the right boat for the RAN but it was the boat that was chosen, primarily because Kockums were willing to actually do what was asked of them in the tender process, whereas the Germans sneered at the Australian Government and just did what they wanted.  Of course, Kockums then did a bit of a dirty on ASC and handed them a semi-completed hull for the lead boat which had to have most of the welds redone here in Australia in order to pass quality assurance.  The RAN didn't help with their demands that ASC supply the boats under a fixed price contract which hampered their control systems.  The ALP Government didn't help either by sacking a raftload of middle-management naval officers who had managed the Collins project when their services were felt to be no longer required - hence all the "revelations" in the (primarily) Murdoch press about the supposed "disaster" that the Collins class was in the mid-1990s.   Most of them being half-truths and misinformation based on old problems which had been addressed.

We ended up with one of the most advanced conventional ocean going submarines in the world.  It is the largest such boat, it has the longest range and it is the most quiet running, despite all the bullshit about it sounding like a "jazz band".   It has had problems but fewer than most first build submarines.  At the same time as we were building the Collins class, the US Navy was scrapping the lead boat on the stocks of the then new Seawolf class because all the welding had been done substandard and the RN had found that the builders of their new SSN, the Vanguard class had welded one hull section on upside down!   So, the "experts" can get it wrong, then so can we.

When someone who is really in the know, writes the full story of the Collins project, it will IMHO make some very interesting reading indeed.   Hopefully he'll have a publisher with deep pockets to defend against the court cases which will occur.

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2016, 08:01:57 PM »
In my opinion, the Kiwi's should have purchased Northrop F-20 Tigershark's
In fact here's the following 1983 proposal to New Zealand

1983 Northrop F-20 Tigershark proposed program cost to New Zealand


- Total program cost for a typical squadron of 18 x F-20 Tigershark aircraft.
- The flyaway price includes airframe, avionics, engine, recoupment, and appropriate administration costs.
- Support and other costs include two years of initial spares, support equipment, training and training equipment, technical publications, aircraft delivery, contract engineering and technical services, and U.S. Government administrative costs.
- Support is based on 20 flying hours per aircraft per month from one operating base with organizational and intermediate levels of maintanance capability.
- Aircraft delivery can begin 30 months after go-ahead.

Program Acquisition Cost
(1983 $, 18 aircraft)
Unit flyaway $10.7 million
Total flyaway $192.6 million
Support & other costs $80 million
Total Program $272.6 million


The F-20 would have been far more economical than the F-16, for the RNZAF.
On top of this, Australia and NZ could have possibly saved some costs in maintenance in terms of the General Electric F404 turbofan

In fact, I've always liked the notion of the RAAF operating a 'High-Lo' mix of Northrop F/A-18L and F-20's - hence maybe a joint Australian /NZ licence manufacturing of F-20!


M.A.D

Would have saved the cost of the Kahu upgrade and buying the ex RAN airframes as well.  That said, Uncle Helen may well have scrapped the Tigersharks too as by the early 2000s they would have been due for modernisation.

Interesting point re Kahu Volkodave, and you are probably correct "Uncle Helen"!!
But it is What If!!
Once again, I find it interesting to hear about you ASC experience!! Thank's for sharing.

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2016, 08:17:03 PM »
Ok, if one considers closer weapons procurement agreements between Aust and NZ, one might seriously consider Project Waler as a replacement for both Army's ubiquitous M113 fleets!

M.A.D

Offline perttime

  • The man has produced a Finnish Napier Heston Fighter...need we say more?
Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2016, 01:03:55 AM »

I think many European countries frequently use their fighters for checking out unidentified visitors at the borders. I suspect there's less need for that in NZ?

I think a UAV would be ideal for that.
It would have to be a pretty good UAV: fast enough to intercept the visitor before it is on your lawn, able to ID things even at light, and able able to do something about it if you don't want it on your lawn.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2016, 02:58:00 AM »
Guys, please keep the Australian political rants out of this discussion.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Kelmola

  • Seeking motivation to start buillding the stash
Re: NZ Defence Acquisitions
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2016, 06:02:56 AM »
Scenario 1: China decides it's not enough to antagonize Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, and by proxy, the US in its neighbouring waters (plus the usual beef with India), and wants to start building artificial reefs in NZ territorial waters and/or inserting "polite people" who then unanimously vote to join North Island into China.
Scenario 2: Putin decides Russia needs a proper tropical colony and decides to do the same, once the Pacific Fleet is made great seaworthy again.
Scenario 3: Hardline islamists seize power in Indonesia and they decide to spread the jihad to NZ because it's easier to conquer than the infidel lands in the immediate neighbourhood.
Scenario 4: The cows came home along with the flying pigs and the ever-menacing cargoship full of Argentinian revanchists accidentally lands in Auckland instead of Port Stanley. Hilarity ensues.

The thing most working for NZ is the sheer distance from anything resembling a threat, and as they still have a functional Army merely reaching the islands is not enough, one would have to be able to maintain a supply chain over most of the Pacific. Of course, outlying islands (Tokelau and Cook Islands) are still at risk, but would not really be defensible even with combat aircraft unless there would be a permanent force stationed there. (Also, to reach those islands the potential attacker would have to pass several US-held islands, which might attract undue attention to the invasion fleet.)

However, if China starts to become a proper blue-water navy, Russia gets its act together again, or Indonesia indeed starts flexing its muscles, then NZ should of course evaluate their options. Gripen E/F would probably be a good choice, though its range tends to be on the short side. (Or indeed Gripen M, if RAN decides to become a carrier force again the NZ Gripens could then cross-train on Aussie flattops...) Eurofighter is then the next logical step, but the cost may be prohibitive.