Another Labour Defense stuff up

Stuff.co.nz

Labour bollocks-ed up Defence like no other government in history. They destroyed capacity and wasted vast sums of money on bleeding edge and inappropriate technology.

Now it has been revealed that Phil Goff’s last big purchase the NH-90 helicopters are duds just like the LAVIIIs. Once again some consultant got a big fat brown envelope and the REMFs have delivered a crap, over-prices white elephant to the frontline troops.

Eight new airforce helicopters, worth more than $700 million, have a serious flaw that even when fixed will prevent use in snowy conditions.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is the first military force to use the high technology NH-90s, winning criticism from Auditor-General Lyn Provost who says this country should not be buying “first of type” equipment.

Her comments came in a Defence Force report published on its website this week dealing with the military’s major projects.

The report also reveals that the P3 Orion $373-million upgrade project has hit problems again with the air force purchasing an “as is” used flight deck simulator that is not compatible with the new planes.

The NH-90s were ordered in 2006 by then Defence Minister Phil Goff to replace the air force’s Vietnam War era Iroquois helicopters.

Provost says in her report that no other airforce was using them when they were commissioned although she said 16 countries now have orders in for 500 NH-90s.

“The NH-90 was to be capable of being quickly deployed in a C130 Hercules aircraft,” she said.

But it cannot currently and Defence is “looking at other transport options”.

These include the helicopters flying themselves all the way across the Pacific if they can be refuelled, or going aboard the navy multi role ship HMNZS Canterbury – but only in certain safe sea state conditions.

The only aircraft available that can fly them anywhere are the ex-Soviet Union Antonov-124 transporter.

Other risks are present, including the NH 90 being “prone to damage” from debris drawn into the engines.

“To mitigate this risk, NHIndustries is to supply screens that can be fitted to the engines.”

Provost says once the screens are fitted, the helicopters will not be able to operate in snowy conditions.

  • Brian Smaller

    These NH-90s were crap when they weere in development. Why the fuck didn’t they buy Sikorsky S-70s like the Aussies use?¬† Remember this $700million was from the same arseholes who got rid of our strike fighter wing because $200m was too much and not affordable.

    • Travdog

      And now suddenly they seem too think that amount is available to extend paid parental leave

    • Tony

      Different – very different age and reliability mate. A big issue is the inability to stand in an S70 with yr gear on.

  • ConwayCaptain

    We have the stuff up of the Charles Upham then the purchase of a modified commercial RoRo as a :Logistical Support Vessel.
     
    The purchase of inshore/offshore patrol boats that are really no more than Coast Guard Vessels.
     
    As for RNZAF replacements they should purchase “off the shelf” planes that have been proven in service.¬† Instead of upgrading 40year old aircraft why havent they purchased 2nd hand¬† C130s from the USAF and similar for the P3s.

    Why our Army needed in excess of 100 LAVs I know not.

    It must be said that every Defence Dept has a continual series of up stuufs.  Look at the UK with the Carriers and the F 35s and other items of equipoment.  Aus with the Collins Class and now the Logistic Ships.

    The list goes on and on and on

    • AngryTory

      Why our Army needed in excess of 100 LAVs I know not

      once the chinese stop lending us 1 BILLION every week to pay for our welfare,
      we’ll need every damn LAV we’v good to keep order in NZ.

    • Mr_Blobby

      The LAVs are perfect for purpose.
      They are perfect for suppressing a militant local population that are upset that there benefits have been reduced or cut altogether.
      What we haven’t seen is the plans for deployment, but 100 would probably do the Job. How many were used in Christchurch.

  • Blokeintakapuna

    It seems everything Labor touches turns to crap!

    It must be true that Labour politicians can only have sex lying on their backs… because they can only fuck up!¬†

    • hoha

      hahahahahahaha

    • Gazzaw

      That could be a problem for some of them.

  • Andrew

    was it not Goff who screwed up the LAV purchase. My trucking company buys a couple of new trucks a year, works well for them, a couple of different models all with¬†strengths¬†and probably a few weaknesses but they are doing well. Dorks¬†masquerading¬†as politicians shouldn’t be able to make these decisions, from history we know they are all¬†incompetent to¬†varying¬†degrees. We should be buying one or two and trying them out. A friend in the¬†air-force¬†told me they won’t be using them much as they cost up to 19k an hour to run and are unsuitable for search and rescue.
    http://labourscandals.blogspot.co.nz/2005/02/nz-army-lav-iiis.html

  • Bob

    Phil Goof and Labour – what a bunch of incompetent, hopeless losers. FFS how did we end up with helicopters that cant handle snow?? Alpine rescues are surely one of the key roles…

    And won’t fit in a C130, have they never heard of a tape measure then?

    As for buying the first of a new line… Dumber than a sack of hammers! This sort of woeful incompetence should see Goof in court and jail!

  • Greg M

    $700,000,000.00 for 8 helicopters? they must be really good, even if they wont fit in a hercules.
    Mind you, HMNZS Canterbury wont fit in the calliope drydock either.
    Maybe NZDF should have spent $10 on a new tape measure first.

    • Tony

      It was known that Canterbury would not fit in the dock. It was not a mistake as there are at least three appropriately sized docks just 5-days away. These are two very different issues.

  • empire32

    That article was poorly written and badly researched. ¬†As much as I don’t like many of Labours Defence decisions (I was forced out of the RNZAF by their decision in 2001) the NH90 purchase will turn out to be a good one.

    The NZDF simply doesnt have the funds to upgrade aircraft as often as they should, hence they have hung onto the Huey for so long.  As such they needed a new helicopter that would be around for a long time.  By getting in on the ground floor of the NH90 they have ensured that they will get the longest amount of service possible out of their purchase.

    For those that say they should of bought the UH-60 because the Aussies have them you are missing a few points.  Firstly the Aussies are moving to the NH90 so there WILL be commonality between our force and theirs.  Secondly, the UH-60 is getting pretty old.  There is a new version that the US Army is buying but it is still hampered by an old design.  Yes it is proven, but also very limited in a number of regards, such as its cabin, where the NH90 design is streets ahead.

    There are most definitely issues with this aircraft, but all new aircraft are like this.  By buying the NH90 the NZDF will have a helicopter they can use for the next 40 years, and not something that will need replacing in half that time.  These are very capable aircraft, the guys flying them love them, and they will provide a huge capability increase.

    ps. remember too that the $700 million figure is a through life cost.  All military projects are priced this way.  This takes into account spares etc for many years to come.

    pps. Whale, you should have done your own research on this a bit better before declaring it a white elephant. You quite correctly pull journalists up on this sort of sensationalism all the time.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz Whaleoil

      I doubt they will last 40 years…for a start they are euro trash.

      • empire32

        A fantastic reply that accurately displays your knowledge in this field.

      • Voice of Reason

         come on WO Рi thoughts you like guns and shit, empire32 raises some valid points that are worth a discussion

      • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz Whaleoil

        They aren’t valid, I doubt this company will even be around in 40 years, let alone the airframes.

        When you read the test reports from the German army you will realize what dog they are. The German army concluded that they were unfit for purpose, not able to adequately carry troops, or even mount a door gun…the rear door failed Nader weight loading as did the seats and the floor.

        New Zealand should never be bleeding edge, nor even fast followers, we simply don’t have the cash…to stay current.

      • empire32

        I would love to know what makes you think that the airframes won’t last. ¬†Having had a lot of experience flying aircraft that rely heavily on composites Im pretty confident that they will be just fine. ¬†In fact, my experience is that the composite components often last much longer than traditional materials and can be easier to repair.

      • Pukakidon

         Want a bet that they will fly in snow?   How about $100.

        These aircraft have not yet been handed over to the NZDF and sit with MOD until operationally ready.  Like all military equipment, we are not the only ones to purchase these and the so called issues the Germans have found will be addressed.   Ausy, Dutch, French, Fins, Italians have also purchased these, we are not out on our own.

        The Auditor-General is no more an expert than you are in this, why not ask the NZDF or MOD to get the facts.

        All these so called War Craft Warrior know it alls on here should not use the NZDF as a political football. Like Empire who was as he points out shafted out of his job by Helun and her party, the people in the NZDF have honour, integrity and put their lives at risk for this country. So remember the purchase of equipment is at the behest of the MOD and Government.  Our Defence Force should never be associated with incompetent politicians or faceless public servants.  

        If it is the defence budget you want to argue about then that is another subject, either the public of NZ needs to make the decision to have a professional, capable, safe and effective military, capable of working with like minded allies, such as Aust, Dutch, French, Fins, Italians, UK and US or a third world military force operating on its own like Fiji, Zimbabwe or Syria. You choose!!!!

    • Pukakidon

       Good work Empire.

      Once again media repeating incoherent rubbish, in this case WO, he should be ashamed.  However I can see how this happens when the media blindly believes everything without undertaking research.

      Every statement in the article is incorrect and you have done a good job of correcting this. What really worries me is that there is an idiot in the Auditor-Generals position who makes unfounded statements like this and the media do not question it.   Cowards.

    • Bob

      Empire32 – interesting points and what you say does make a good argument.

      The problem I see is that we seem to do this often, from memory the ships are a new design, the LAVS were a new design, and the original Steyr (sp?) rifles. All had design faults and problems related to being new designs. Sure it will probably work out ok in the end but why do we keep doing it? It costs huge amounts of money and drama for what? Ships, guns, personnel carriers and helicopters are common run of the mill things.

      We are a small country with limited budgets and purchasing power, OZ can afford to trial things, they also have bigger security risks, the US proabably gets given ten of everything to play with. Just occasionally it would be good if we just looked at the shiny brochure for next years model of whatever and said thanks but we will have last years model that someone else has broken in.

      Bob

      • empire32

        Vaild points, and having seen first hand numerous stuff ups when it comes to Defence procurement I tend to agree with your comments.

        The problem often comes from the military only having people in post for short periods of time such that they aren’t around to follow through the whole purchase process. ¬†Also military guys tend to try to grab the most that they can, spending to the limit, as they know that if they don’t then there will be less money in the future. ¬†Perverse isn’t it?

        The reality is that generally the guys on the front line know what it is that they need to carry out the role they have been given.  They would always much rather have a cheaper piece of kit that works rather than a flash model that doesnt.

        One problem is that there simply aren’t clear guidelines as to what it actually is that the NZDF has to achieve. ¬†We have equipment that is trying to do multiple jobs rather than focussing on a smaller set of tasks that could be reliably completed. ¬†The real question that needs to be asked is what is actually expected of our military. ¬†Once we know the answer to that the military could focus on providing a suitable solution.

      • Gazzaw

        Empire, with your obvious RNZAF knowledge what are your thoughts on the government of the time turning down the F18s offered free by the US as replacements for the Skyhawks. I am aware that there would have been considerable expenditure involved for spares etc but surely this was a great deal and whats more we wouls still have a strike wing.

        Good decision or more political expediency from Labour? 

      • empire32

        Gazzaw.

        The aircraft offered to the RNZAF were F-16s that were originally destined for Pakistan. ¬†I certainly wasn’t happy with the decision at the time as it took away the whole aim I had in joining in the RNZAF.

        That said my personal view is that actually it was the right decision in the end, though only in part. ¬†I believe that the strike wing should shave been scrapped with the money freed up going towards enhancing the rotary, transport and maritime roles. ¬†This is effectively what the Labour government did. ¬†One proviso to this is that the F-16 buy was very cheap and so canceling it and the Skyhawks didn’t actually free up too much money.

        The issue is really one of capability.  The F-16s that the RNZAF would have had would never have been to the spec, and the crews would never have had the training, for them to be used effectively in a conflict.  If they were only ever going to be used in a second tier capability then what was the point?

        Where the RNZAF can have an impact is not in strike aircraft, but in rotary operations, transport and maritime surveillance.  These are roles that can have an effect within our sphere of influence, the Pacific.  Strike is simply too costly for NZ to carry out.

        In buying the NH90 we have allowed ourselves the ability to provide real impact.

      • niggly

        @empire32:disqus ”
        That said my personal view is that actually it was the right decision
        in the end, though only in part.  I believe that the strike wing should
        shave been scrapped with the money freed up going towards enhancing the
        rotary, transport and maritime roles.  This is effectively what the
        Labour government did.  One proviso to this is that the F-16 buy was
        very cheap and so canceling it and the Skyhawks didn’t actually free up
        too much money.

        The issue is really one of capability.  The F-16s that the RNZAF
        would have had would never have been to the spec, and the crews would
        never have had the training, for them to be used effectively in a
        conflict.  If they were only ever going to be used in a second tier
        capability then what was the point?”

        On the whole I agree with your other commentary but strongly disagree with this aspect. The A-4’s (or the proposed F-16’s) fulfillied an important, second tier capability if you like, but nonetheless vital role of maritime strike for both the NZ and Australian Defence Forces. This was a vital, realistic training aspect for the Navy Frigates preparing for deployments into SE Asia and further afield.The strike force also worked in with the Orions to prosecute targets, all of which could come into play in the ‘benign’ South Pacific if resource issues hot up (which they will).

        In recent years having the A-4’s (or proposed F-16’s) would have been important for NZ Army (PRT and SAS) pre-deployment training to Afghanistan, where the report into the IED death of Lt O’Donnell highlighted the lack of fundamental JTAC training (the Joint terminal attack controller soldiers coordinate counter air-strikes etc), in essence because of NZ losing the air combat role capability.

        Finally the A-4’s (or F-16’s) would have been important to defend the (re-rolling of NZDF into a) joint amphibious task force, should it be called upon by Govt to stabalise an area on the SW Pacific rim (thinking Timor here).

        The A-4’s cost $80m / year so the savings as you point out weren’t that great.

        Finally if Labour hadn’t scrapped the F-16’s and A-4’s and followed the then National Govt defence plan, the Huey replacements would have been postponed from early 2000’s (Labour’s new plan) to mid-late 2000’s (National/Shipley’s plan) the NZDF would have had the extra years to assess the NH-90 helicopter (which was still under development when Goff ordered them) as well as other alternative designs.

      • empire32

        re the comments about JTAC training etc.  All valid but can be capably carried out by a far cheaper platform such as a jet trainer, there is no need for a Skyhawk or F-16.

        Maritime strike for the environment we operate in can be ably carried out by the P-3K.

    • johnbronkhorst

      A European helicopter, that can’t fly in the snow???..Must have been listening to that global warming idiot about 3 years ago who said, “Europe won’t get anymore snow during winter”……So the machine (NH90) won’t be able to fly south of Christchurch durinmg the winter????

  • Dave

    You know, we have all purchased a new (albeit Secondhand) car, and one of the opening statements is…….. ¬† Can i take it for a spin. ¬† We check the family can all fit in, will the surf board fit with the rear seats folded down, does it cruise at 100km/h smoothly and so on…..

    So, as others have said above, why didn’t we try one or two. ¬† Give it to the Pilots to thrash for a week or two, then to the engineers to play with, and see if they can “make it a better mouse trap” ¬† ¬†Then there is the research. ¬†Even if a prototype, there would be some scuttlebutt out in military and aviation land – they are good at this, not at that, how does it compare to that one, and so on…..

    Finally, if they have been mislead by the manufacturers claims – send them back, sue them!!

    Better still, keep Goff, Labour and anything resembling them – out of any decisions affecting this country – let them stick to purchasing the family groceries.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Spending other people’s money and never responsible – Lairbour all over

  • johnbronkhorst

    Remember the sky hawks that would last “another 5 years and then only lasted 5 months, after auntie helen got in. Remember the Quigley report?? The one that Labour said they would follow if elected!!!Well the Quigley report said, we should buy the F16’s from the USAF, not as many units as first proposed and with the knowledge that they were not as versatile as perhaps we would like, but were the BEST option.

  • STEVE AND MONIQUE

    Why did we not just get the same kit as the Aussies,and shared maintenance etc.Has to be a better idea to join forces,and cheaper to.

    • empire32

      With these helicopters that is exactly what we have done.  The Aussies have bought the same troop transport type as us, as well as buying the naval version.

      • Fergus

        true Empire, no defence force has ENOUGH transport for this, but we would have NONE. and be totally reliant of others.

      • STEVE AND MONIQUE

        Thanks did not know that.Lets hope they are up to scratch,as the Hueys have lasted well.Guess we need to buy used russian cargo plane to carry them.Or we could have just signed up to have a joint air/army force with the Aussies,and saved us a few bucks in the bargain

      • empire32

        There will always be equipment too big for whatever you’re transport capability. ¬†Having Hercs is fine for NZ, anything bigger is an expense that couldn’t be justified.

      • MrV

        Surely a couple of globemasters could be purchased at somestage.
        Those Hercules are so old, how much longer can they keep going for?

      • niggly

        Actually they didn’t buy the naval version of the NH-90 (called NFH-90) in the end, they instead are buying new US MH-60R’s (state of the art updated Seahawks).

        The ones they have bought (MRH-90) for the Oz Army aren’t operational yet (like ours).

    • Pukakidon

      Excellent point,  Aussy have these as well

    • AngryTory

      Has to be a better idea to join forces,and cheaper to.

      But then we’d have to a) have *all* the equipment the Aussies have, and b) pay the same wages.¬†

      So, let’s double the defense budget shall we?

  • Bunswalla

    Labour’s idea of defence is to put a flower in the end of the rifles and give everyone a hug and a nice cup of milo.

    • Mr_Blobby

      No thats the Greenies and assorted tree Huggers and flower people.

  • napalm in the morning

    If something happens and we are found lacking because of decisions Clark, Goff and cronies made , would we have the ability to charge them with treason ( Douglas as well, just because he is a fuckwit)

  • Apolonia

    Labour MPs purchasing experience is normally restricted to buying socks to wear with their roman sandals.
    They shouldn’t be deciding on defense equipment. ¬†¬†

    • Andrew

      and fish net stocking for when they are ‘out on the town’

    • Robert Anderson

      ¬†No, that’s the Greens. Labour know how to buy votes.

    • Philip ure a cock

      And great big strap ons …
      … eh Phool…eh…

  • Ngrim

    Yep another defence asset introduced into service with less capabilities than planned due to design defects.  Fair comment above on these would have a longer lifetime in NZ service due to being very modern, but the risks there outweigh the benefits (if any gradually eventuate) and as a small nation with limited funds to throw at defense purchases I think we should be avoiding new designs. They should have gone for american gear, would have been a better deal and able to introduce more airframes (8 medium utility choppers is really low number to operate for our force).  I often wonder how much bias towards euro purchases there are in the MoD due to anti-american feelings.
    Oh, and the article says they were originally to be able to fit in a c-130 aircraft – they never will, and were not expected, that is misleading.¬† The MoD and defence want to purchase the all new Euro A400 transport in another 10 years to replace the c130 –¬†that will transport them, another expensive¬†new design with issues!¬†

    • empire32

      To be fair to the A400M its doing pretty well. ¬†I know most of the guys flying it and they love it. ¬†Personally I can’t see NZ buying it, but it would be great if they did.

      The C-130 comments are unfair by those slagging off the NH90 for not fitting it.  The reality is that shifting the NH90 will be easy to do commercially or by the Aussies, and for a lot less than having an organic capability.

      • johnbronkhorst

        An dif the aussies have something better to with THEIR transports, than move our NH90’s?? What then, they sit on the ground here in NZ, when they are needed to support OUR troops somewhere else. Remember the hissy fit, auntie helen threw when Air NZ transported Aussie troops to Iraq (Kuwait). What if that little favour isn’t returned due to Aussie politics!???

      • empire32

        I think the whole discussion around transporting these helicopters is a bit of a red herring.

        No military has enough transport capability for rapid air moves of large helicopters, even the US. ¬†Being able to shift a large help one at a time in a cargo plane isn’t that practical. ¬†Realistically these moves are done via ship, or if a very rapid air move is needed, commercial cargo carriers. ¬†Have a look at all the world hotspots and you’ll see private AN124s and commercial 747 freighters carrying helicopters and other outsize freight for the worlds militaries.

        That these helicopters can’t fit into a Herc is not a big deal.

  • AnonymousCoward

    Some here imagine that purchasing military equipment is like making a choice between a Holden or Toyota. It isn;t.

    Military procurement world wide is riddled with protectionism, entrenched interests, pork barrel politics and corruption.

    For a small military answering to at times naive politicians it ia a wonder that they dont make more stuff-ups.

    That said, the military and politicians could do better

    I nominate L3-Communications to the military equipment supplier hall of shame.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OK7Y7PCSTJ27RCKZ2MGRSAYCTE NEIL

      ¬†Yes and I also didn’t realise it was the Minster who decided which ones to buy – I always thought the Defence Force put it to Government based on our relationships with the potential providers.

  • Callsign30

    Cam the big issue is the cost per hour to operate verse the UH1H. OIA that one and make sure it includes opex, capex and dpn. the difference is shocking and unaffordable

    • empire32

      Of course they cost more, but they also provide more capability. ¬†Apples and oranges…

  • Robert Miles

    The NH90s would probably be suitable to go on more capable OPV’s. The rather impressive Dutch Holland class OPVs are built to operate and support NH90s and offer immensley powerful sea scanning surface surviellance able to detect survivors in the water or snorkels at ranges of 160km. Other armament would be 76mm guns and the sort of CIWS guns carried by the Anzacs.
    Essentially I would characterise them as short hull diesel electric corvettes with essentially a Leander class hull and a displacement of 3700 tons much of due to weight of the stronger hull from using stronger steel and a lot of heavy to survvive shore lauched missiles. A fifteen year project to build 4 such OPVs in NZ for a total of $1.5 billion migh even appeal to likes of Helen Kelly.
    ¬† The¬† LAVs were¬† purchased¬† so it could be claimed that there¬† was no money to run F-16or Aermacchis. We probably do need¬† 7 0r 8 light strike aircraft of the capability of an armed Aeramcchi 339D with a decent engine¬† for training targets for the navies, radar, gun , missile , ESM operators and also to army units realistic training in forward air control¬† and locking their stingers or what ever man portable missile they use. “““““““

  • Don McKenzie

    In my opine the one guiding and fundemental principle when considering defence hardware purchase is inter-operability with our allies who are as far as one can see the Auseies and the US ,i.e ANZUS

    • AngryTory

      Wrongo!! ¬†Thanks to Hellen, it’s the PLA/ PLAAF/ PLAN.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    We are the laughing stock of the World. I remember a cartoon after some disaster or emergency in the Pacific:
    The Americans dropped tents and blankets.
    The Australians dropped medical supplys.
    The British dropped food and water.
    NZ Hercules dropped an intake manifold

    • MrV

      I do remember the last bomb training run the skyhawks did at Tekapo.
      Half the bombs didn’t go off when dropped, bit of a worry.

  • RobertM

    In reply to the likes of Conway, I would say the RNZN, OPVs like the Otago and Wellington are really prototype Corvettes of the sorts of vessels intended for serious resource wars over sea and fish resources and future interstate conflicts . Its obvious they are fatally flawed in lacking a small  57mm or 76mm gun like the LCS. I would say they are a useful advance on previous attempts at such a design. The HMNZS Wellington has already shown an effective ability to operate in sea conditions  as far south as the Ross Sea. In such respects the design is far superior to the Anzac frigates, which have pencil thin hulls and when deployed into the Southern Ocean are rough riding and suffer significant structual damage.
     In those days when I was a serious opponent of the initial purchase of Anzac frigates in 1989 and managed to stop NZ aquiring a third Anzac in 1998, ( although according to Wikapedia it was Winstons demands that stopped it ) I was a bit more leftish inclined if already doubtful of Clark, than now Рit was always obvious that the Anzacs were of little military value, being cheaply built German export frigates- that the German navy would not use itself, they are (a) too slow to operate with the US carrier forces (b) have no effective a/a or anti missile armament (c) are a noisy hard vibrating gas turbine frigates with a mediocre sonar which would have been of little value for even their orginal intended role of convoy protection, let alone serious anti submarine warfare. A modern diesel Russian or Chinese workhorse Kilo diesel submarine would far outclass them in my opionion.
    ¬† All the late 1970s ,early 80’s British OPV designs are really prototype third world war corvettes.
    That was what David Brown the RN chief designer , David Brown designed the Castle class for an d the Sea Shepperd , Steve Irwin is really the prototype for the first RN Isles Class OPV- and flying the Jolly Rodger can run for a month thru the Southern Ocean iceburgs at 17 knots.
    ¬†¬† The point of an RNZN strike force was it maintained a large conservative armed force and right wing institution in NZ aligned with the US. In practical terms the Skyhawks were largely useless, ours initially being 1969 body Skyhawks but with the electronic and black box fit of the USN’s one way nuclear bomber Skyhawks of the early 60s, and not at all the fit of USMC and Israeli airforce groundattack Skyhawks we thought we were getting and the Project Kahui update really ws an undeployable pot pouri of¬† enthusiast thinking when what was required was standardisation with USMC type Skyhawks and new upgraded turbines.

    • Greg M

      ¬†Have to disagree Robert. The new OPV’s will be a seriously good addition to the fleet, but they do have some drawbacks. Number one being the NH 90’s can’t land on the flightdeck, mind you the Kaman SH2G can’t either.
      Number two being, although they are ice strengthened, they are only built to Lloyd’s standard, which is way lighter than warship standard. To say ” the design is far superior to the anzacs is complete rubbish. The reason for ordering them is they cost a fraction to run compared to an anzac, and it frees up the warships for more appropriate tasks, other than fisheries patrol. In no way were they ever conceived or built to be a warship.
      The 25 mm bushmaster is plenty big enough for their designed usage, mixed in with several 50 cal’s and small arms.

      As to your comments regarding the anzacs, you are completely wrong. With the “half life refits” that has just been completed they are now state of the art. The main engines have been replaced with larger, more efficient Man B&W diesels, and the LM 2500 turbine ( used for high speed running only ) has been replaced as well.¬† The radar / sonar systems are the best off the shelf equipment available , and the CIWS with the new block 1B modifications are better than 90% of the same equipment on USN ships. The missile defence systems , while still very good will no longer be getting the planned upgrades thanks to.. you guessed it, the tossers in Labour who also stopped us getting four anzacs as originally planned.

      A Kilo class or indeed a Los Angeles class has NEVER evaded detection by an anzac in exercises, not once.
      The castle class OPV is already a 20 year old design, it was evaluated and correctly found to be unsuitable with higher operating cost than an anzac.

      Regards G (22 yrs RNZN)

      • SteveOves

        Totally agree Greg, I have served on both ANZAC’s and during that time we have detected all different types of subs. We should of gotten 3 Frigates, as we could of rotated their duties i.e.one for active duty, one for¬†training¬†and one in refit. With only 2 we are having to do training and active duty at the same time, not ideal! The OPV’s are a good¬†addition to the fleet as they free up the Anzac’s for better duties and once the navy has the capability we will be also be able to send up the OPV’s to South Asia for work up there too. As for the helicopters we should have followed the USMC example and got the Bell UH-1Y Venom (Super Huey) and upgrade version of the Huey with 125%¬†increased¬†payload and 50% greater range. It’s a tried and tested design and one that the airforce pilots and crew would be familiar with thereby saving on¬†maintenance¬†and operation costs.

        (ex POMT 15 years service)

    • AngryTory

      what was required was standardisation with USMC type Skyhawks and new upgraded turbines.

      What was required were either Harrier GR9s and Viggens.

      Still are as a matter of fact.

      Although, really the most likely use for the NZDF is antiterrorism / antiriot deployments. ¬†The UH90s will do well with those, but I’d still like a couple of AC130-Us to orbit over South Auckland in the event of any trouble…

  • jay cee

    thanks for your input empire32¬† good to read something from someone who can see through the politics and get to the nub. what i would like to add though is the reason that the skyhawks weren’t replaced is because mr bradfords new squadron of ,what was it? some 6 planes was going to cost around¬† $1 billion, back in 98. it also has to remembered that the skyhawks in their 25 yr life never fired a shot in anger. lastly this debate strayed into naval capabilties, well no matter how efficient your average frigate and or destroyer is if you recall the falklands war, margaret thatchers re-election side show, you’ll also remember that those ships could be taken out by an exocet missile.

    • Boss Hogg

      Read more history Рbudget cuts at the time put Aluminium super structures on some british warships.  ALuminium burns.  In 1982 I had an outstanding tutor while in the RNZAF (at a civiliian college) that resigned from the Royal Naval design team when these cuts were maid.  He said that they would kill people and he was right.  He was our tutor duirng the Falklands conflict.

    • Greg M

      ¬†Very true Jay Cee, The point I was trying to make is the NH90’s won’t fit on an OPV, or HMNZS Endeavour either.
      We were offered 16, F16’s for $120 million, not much more than what we were asking for the skyhawks.
      The only shots ever fired in anger was in the early 70’s when a skyhawk fired a salvo across the bow of a fishing vessel poaching in our waters. This is why we should have kept them. A fighter from Ohakea can be anywhere off NZ’s coast within say. 90 minutes while it may take several days to get an IPV or OPV to the location.

      An exocet missile would not get within 5 NM of an anzac, that’s what the CIWS is for.

      I will always stand up for the NZDF ( especially Navy ) who are trying to to the impossible with constant political and burocratic interference, and repeated incompetence from the MoD.

  • Robert M

    Comments by Greg that our Anzac frigates frequently track ( Chinese and Russian Kilo class) submarines are interesting. Can he confirm that Russian and Chinese Kilos have operated south of Fiji in the Tasman or Pacific within 1600 km of NZ as implied by the likes of strategic expert Paul Buchanan. I remain sceptical of the Anzacs ability to counter attacks by such subs as they could be targeted by Russian sattelites or surveillance aircraft and launch missile s far more potent than Exocets with a performace range 300km, speed mach 2, 9 feet of sea level.
      In terms of the OPV, the new Dutch Holland class Opvs have been specifically designed to land and hangar the NH90 and are in fact designed around this helicopter. The comment that the HMS Otago can not land the Seasprite is interesting as it is intended to

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