RNZAF Capability Development
From 1 October 2010, responsibility for Air Capability development was passed from the RNZAF to the NZDF. Air Capability development and delivery is now the responsibility of the HQ NZDF Assistant Chief Capability. This includes the Introduction into Service of the new and upgraded aircraft that sees all front line operational aircraft upgraded or replaced by the end of 2013.
To achieve the necessary synchronisation of all the capability delivery aspects of introducing these systems into service, Joint Project Offices have been set up at Base Ohakea, within the Helicopter Transition Unit and Base Whenuapai, within No. 485 Wing, to bring all facets of testing, training, retrofit, warranty management, regression testing and logistics support into one plan.
The New and Upgraded Fleet
NZDF programmes on the current Long Term Development Plan for RNZAF capabilities which are already in contract include:
- Modification of the Boeing 757 to meet global air traffic requirements and provide a cargo/passenger combination role - this project was completed in 2009 and the two platforms are in service as 'combi' systems, able to carry passengers and freight in up to 13 different configurations
- Upgrades to the P-3K Orion mission management, communication and navigation systems
- Life extension to the C-130H Hercules fleet, by structural upgrades and extensive modifications to communications and navigation equipment and upgrade of self-protection equipment on the which provides defence against Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS)
- Replacement of the UH-1H Iroquois with the NH-90 and A109 to provide the NZDF’s contemporary needs for a Medium Utility Helicopter and Training/Light Utility Helicopter respectively.
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