Defence Force likely to stick with Lockheed Martin when Hercules are replaced

An announcement  for the replacement of the RNZAF’s aged Hercules fleet is close and the chosen candidate is likely to be identified either in the Budget or the coming Defence Capability Plan.

Boeing has made a late attempt to offer the Brazilian Embraer KC390 twin turbofan tactical airlifter, having taken a commercial interest in the project as part of a longer-term plan to develop Embraer’s smaller short-haul airliners.

However, the NZ Defence Force is expected to stay with Lockheed Martin and prefers the C-130J powered by Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers.

The C-130J has a crew of only three: two pilots and a loadmaster, but no flight engineer and no navigator.   It will also bring inter-operability advantages in terms of training and spares given the large numbers in service with the US and the RAAF.

Timing of the order is sensitive in that the RNZAF’s new fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft is due in 2022.  The C-130J may arrive earlier to avoid over-taxing the small air force with new types at once.

While the Hercules have  had a major upgrade the engines, propellors and some mechanical systems remain the same and parts for these are becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to access.

Whereas Point of Order has been looking into the Hercules replacement, National is claiming to have been given insights into the Government’s defence spending intentions.

According to a Stuff report, National has claimed it is the recipient of a massive Budget leak, detailing the spending promises the Opposition understands Labour has made to NZ First.

Among the biggest apparent gains for NZ First’s minister’s is $1.3 billion for defence assets, and the doubling of “Vote Forestry” – the total budget for nearly all forestry initiatives being funded by the Government. NZ First ministers Ron Mark and Shane Jones hold both portfolios respectively.

But it’s unlikely National’s claims will be proven either way, until Thursday’s Budget is revealed. In relation to a potential defence spend, that document is released separately to the Budget itself, although that’s widely expected to be released mid-June. 

Spending of of $1.3 billion for the purchase of assets in Vote Defence Force in 2019/2020, would be up from $641 million last year.

The PM has said the Nats are free to speculate.

3 thoughts on “Defence Force likely to stick with Lockheed Martin when Hercules are replaced

  1. I’m pretty disgusted at the Leader from the “No Mates Party” playing short term politics with Defence and it just shows they don’t really give a shit about the NZDF as they did during the 90’s! Both National and Labour are as equally at fault here if the didn’t play this short term BS in the late 90’s- early 2000’s as we would’ve had 8 C130 J Models already in service and we probably won’t be have this discussion. Heck even I might’ve still be serving in the NZDF either in the RNZAC or RNZAF instead of moving overseas in 98 as these jerks were playing politics with the NZDF.

    Clearly this 🤡 or muppet has forgotten his Foreign/ Trade Affairs and Defence Policy discussion document he released last week.

    A BZ for Ronnie delivering the goods yet again and I hope there is something for the Veterans in this budget as well.

    Just need a couple of A400’s and a couple of SOPV’s for the Southern Ocean patrols for the next yrs budget.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We don’t have much to thank NZ First for but in this case we should be grateful to them for upping our Defence budget to accommodate these vital aircraft along with the Poseidons. Bridges shows yet again he is not fit to be Prime Minister.


    1. Anyone is better than those clowns 🤡/ muppets from the “No Mates Party” after what they did in the 90”s, including the way Mapp and Roy were push out of Defence portfolio IOF Dipton, his hatchet man Coleman and Dipton’s Treasury goons to make more cuts to the NZDF against advice form Mapp & Co including the then CDF old Jonesy. In the end it blew up in the face of old Shonky Key, Coleman, Dipton and his Treasury goons.

      I really have no time for right wing Neo Con/ Neo Lib BS and after what I went through in 90’s they can go and get F***ed.


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