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Future Air Mobility Capability

The Future Air Mobility Capability project will ensure that the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) maintains a continuous, capable, and relevant fixed wing air mobility capability beyond the retirement of the current C-130H(NZ) and B757-200 aircraft.

Government approval

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 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 NZDF 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 2021 and 2023. Phase in options for replacement capability are being developed for discussion and agreement with the Air Force.
  • replacement of the two B757-200 combi aircraft between 2025 and 2026.
  • the personnel, training, infrastructure, requirements management, concepts, doctrine, support, testing, evaluation and introduction into service of future capabilities.

Contracts

The Future Air Mobility Capability project is in preliminary definition phase and has not yet received Government direction regarding contracts for capability acquisition.

A Request for Information was issued via the New Zealand Government Electronic Tender System (www.gets.govt.nz (external link) ). This initial approach to Industry provided information to form the Indicative Business Case.

Further engagement with Industry took place in May 2017 when the project received more detailed proposals from Industry. This will provide the basis of a Detailed Business Case to Government through which a preferred option will be considered and implemented.  

Aircraft procurement will be from foreign industry. Some through life support services will involve New Zealand industry for ongoing operation after procurement.

Current status

The project has commenced with capability requirements definition and development of preliminary capability options, and submitted the Indicative Business Case to the Government.

 

Contact: Neil Hygate, Director Air Domain
Email: industry@defence.govt.nz