Future air mobility capability
The Future Air Mobility Capability project will ensure that the Defence Force maintains a continuous, capable, and relevant fixed wing air mobility capability beyond the retirement of the current C-130H(NZ) and B757-200 aircraft.
The New Zealand Defence White Paper 2016 has confirmed the importance of maintaining an air mobility capability for the deployment of Defence Force personnel and equipment within New Zealand’s immediate region and further afield. The White Paper also registers the role of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in supporting New Zealand’s interests in Antarctica, and notes that the Government will take this important factor into account when it considers air transport fleet replacement options.
Against this background, the Future Air Mobility Capability project will ensure that the Defence Force maintains a continuous, capable, and relevant fixed wing air mobility capability beyond the retirement of the current aircraft. It will ensure New Zealand’s future capability is flexible, achievable, economical, robust and capable of supporting military operations, either alone or with partners.
The scope of the project includes:
replacement of the current fixed wing air mobility capability by no less than an equivalent level of capability matched to current and future needs
replacement of the five C-130H aircraft between February 2021 and December 2023. A replacement aircraft will be delivered by February 2020 to allow initial operational capability to be declared in February 2021. Full operational capability shall be declared no later than February 2024
replacement of the two B757-200 combi aircraft by February 2026. The first replacement aircraft will be required by 1 February 2025 to allow initial operational capability to be declared by 1 February 2026
the personnel, training, infrastructure, requirements managements, concepts, doctrine, support, testing, evaluation and introduction into service of future capabilities.
The Future Air Mobility Capability project is in preliminary definition phase and has not yet received Government direction regarding contracts for capability acquisition.
The project is, however, asking for information from Industry on available options to address the future air mobility requirements of Defence and has issued a Request for Information via the New Zealand Government Electronic Tender System (www.gets.govt.nz (external link) ). This initial approach to Industry will provide information to allow an Indicative Business Case to Government.
Further engagement with Industry in the second quarter of 2017 is anticipated, at which stage the project will be looking for more detailed proposals from Industry for the provision and support of the future air mobility capability.
The subsequent approach to Industry will provide the basis of a Detailed Business Case to Government through which a preferred option will be considered and determined.
The approach to Industry will seek proposals for the provision of aircraft and associated equipment and proposals for through life support of the acquired aircraft and systems. Defence anticipates that this will involve New Zealand Industry to a greater extent than will the provision of the aircraft, which will more directly involve the original equipment manufacturers.
The Future Air Mobility Capability project has commenced with capability requirements definition and development of preliminary capability solution options for consideration by Government through an Indicative Business Case.
Contact: Neil Hygate, Programme Director Air