New Zealand To Upgrade P-3 Orion, Replace Frigates, Aircraft, Purchase Modern Weapons

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:26 PM, November 16, 2016
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New Zealand To Upgrade P-3 Orion, Replace Frigates, Aircraft, Purchase Modern Weapons
NZDF P-3 Orion patrolling the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (Image: New Zealand MoD)

New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee launched the Defence Capability Plan 2016, detailing the NZ$20 billion investment in capability needed out to 2030.

According to the plan, “Since then the government has agreed to the procurement of an ice-strengthened naval tanker and high mobility vehicles for the Special Air Service,” Brownlee said.

The Plan is the next step in delivering on the Defence White Paper, released in June this year. 

“It has also approved upgrades to the underwater surveillance capability of the P-3 Orion and has requested tenders for a littoral operations vessel. 

“In response to the assessment of New Zealand’s strategic outlook in the Defence White Paper, the government will also invest in an ice-strengthened offshore patrol vessel, replacement of our maritime surveillance aircraft in the 2020s, and a cyber protection and support capability for deployed forces.”

Other major investments over the period include: Replacing the ANZAC frigates with modern combat vessels; New transport aircraft to replace the C-130 and B757 fleets; Digitising land forces through the Network Enabled Army programme; Rolling purchases of modern weapons and protective equipment; Protected mobility vehicles; and Secure strategic communications capabilities.

“For the first time, the Defence Capability Plan includes indicative capital cost and schedule bands for major projects, to demonstrate the relative scale and timing of the investments.

“For New Zealand suppliers, knowing the size and scope of capability investment opens up opportunities for partnering with other contractors to provide through-life support arrangements for major assets, or to suggest niche technology solutions.

“The $1.7 billion programme of capital investment to rejuvenate the Defence Estate is one of the biggest opportunities for New Zealand suppliers to be involved, particularly for the local construction sector. 

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