New planes for Defence Force to replace clapped out Orions?

It looks like the Air Force could be getting some brand new planes: Quote:

Defence Minister Ron Mark is one step closer to making the biggest defence procurements in recent years.

Mark will take his proposal to purchase up to four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes from the United States to the Cabinet Government Administration and Expenditure Review Committee on Monday.

The planes, which would replace replace its retiring P-3 maritime patrol fleet, could cost up to US$1.4 billion (NZ$2.03 billion).This would be one of the most significant purchases, since the frigate upgrade.

However, the New Zealand Defence Force says the price is likely to be less than that.

Once the Cabinet committee had seen the proposal, it would have to go to Cabinet, before a decision on the purchase was made. There was no set date for the proposal to go to cabinet, but Mark said that was expected to happen before the end of July. End quote.

The Orions are positively antique. I’m not sure if there are other suitable and cheaper options, but the NZDF tends to like expensive American kit. Quote:

During a Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee hearing earlier this month, Mark said he had to start “from scratch” on the procurement plan, when he took on the job as minister, last year.

While the former National government had started the process, Mark said there was nothing to suggest there had been a paper taken to cabinet committee or Cabinet, and he would not endorse a recommendation, without understanding the decision-making process.

I am confident now that the recommendation I will take to Cabinet committee stacks up, that it is robust, it’s justifiable and I’m in the stage where I am consulting with people,” he said.

“So my closing comment, not being able to pre-judge what the Cabinet committee or Cabinet might decide, because that is for me to put the case down, I would simply say, put your cellphones in flight mode, put your tray up, buckle in, hold on, it’s coming.”

In the briefing to the incoming minister, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the Ministry of Defence said fleet of six P-3K2 Orions had undertaken military deployments and contributed to stewardship of New Zealand’s maritime area of responsibility for the past 60 years.

“The aircraft and their sensors have been upgraded several times but they are now beyond further upgrades.”

The Defence White Paper 2016 concluded the Orions needed to be replaced in the mid-2020s.

Meanwhile, official papers release to RNZ found NZDF spent about $360 million on maintenance and repairs of the ageing aircraft over the past 10 years, twice as much as in the previous decade.

In 2008, keeping the planes fit for purpose cost about $24m. Two years ago the cost spiked over $50m, and this year the bill is more than $43m. End quote.

Replacements are needed, that is for sure. Let’s see what comes of this, but it’s a promising sign for some quality kit. The Aussies have this plane, so there should be some synergies.


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Listen to this post:
39%