Future air surveillance capability
Providing the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) with a medium utility helicopter capability for the next 30 years.
The New Zealand Defence White Paper 2016 confirmed the importance of maintaining an air surveillance and response capability for New Zealand’s immediate region and further afield.
Against this background, the Future Air Surveillance Capability project will ensure that the Defence Force maintains a continuous, capable, and relevant air surveillance capability beyond the retirement of the current P-3K2 aircraft.
It will ensure New Zealand’s future air surveillance capability is flexible, achievable, economical, robust and capable of supporting military operations, either alone or with partners, and other New Zealand government airborne surveillance requirements.
The scope of the project includes:
- replacement of the current fixed wing Air Surveillance and Response Force capability, founded on six P-3K2 Orion aircraft, by mid 2025 with no less than an equivalent level of capability matched to current and future needs
- the personnel, training, infrastructure, requirements managements, concepts, doctrine, support, testing, evaluation and introduction into service of future capabilities.
The Future Air Surveillance Capability project is nearing completion of the business definition phase and has not yet received Government direction regarding contracts for capability acquisition.
The project sought information from Industry on available options to address future air surveillance requirements of Defence in a Request for Tender, released via the New Zealand Government Electronic Tender System (www.gets.govt.nz (external link) ). This initial approach to Industry has allowed the project to frame an Investment Case to Government.
Following this the project will undertake to deliver a Project Implementation Business Case to Government seeking direction to proceed with the next phase of the project.
Defence anticipates the provision of through-life support services for acquired aircraft systems 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 Surveillance Capability project expects to seek Government direction on the maritime patrol capability investment case at the end of 2017. Following Government decision on the maritime patrol aircraft capability component, the project will develop investment cases for the complete air surveillance capability solution through delivery of the business case for Government consideration in 2018.
Contact: Neil Hygate, Director Air Domain