What if New Zealand acquired a fleet of fast jet combat air craft circa 2000

I agree with some above. The Muldoon victory example is potentially quite interesting, though I profess to be no expert on NZ politics (I know a bit more about the endless Telenovela that is the Australian compulsion to the leadership spill, but that is another matter).

New Zealand is isolated and quite challenging to get to in relative terms. Their principal interest protecting their EEZ, given they are not really set-up for prolonged land deployments abroad. Below is a map of the Pacific nation's Exclusive Economic Zones:
View attachment 527507
A larger version is found here.

As you can see, the mint green coloured area is NZ and is, obviously nearby Australia and possessions held by the US. Presumably the assumption was that they would be protected by both territories, and perhaps, in the case of a major regional war, as unlikely as that might seem, Malaysia and Indonesia in support? The question here is, where is the threat? I suppose you could say the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue are vulnerable to capture in a Pacific War, say a showdown between the United States and the PR China. Would you spend the money to operate an Expeditionary Air Wing from the Cook Islands with a fighter squadron, maritime recon, refuelling and transport capabilities to cover that area? If so what is their mission, air defence and air interdiction in Melanesia? Presumably anti-illegal migrant patrols as well, which is more politically delicate. And if they were to go there, what sort of fighters are we talking about? One General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon cost between $14 and $18 million dollars per unit. Add in considerable training and support costs and you have an expensive outlay, presumably for three squadrons, one for home defence, one for Pacific island deployment and one on-standby to be sent abroad, for example from the 1990s, the New Zealand contribution to the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq in the Persian Gulf, enforcing no-fly zones over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Choosing say a mixed air defence, air attack option built around a and using BAE Hawks as flying artillery pieces still costs something like $18m per unit.

The question is why? They are not near any naval chokepoints or areas of high strategic significance really. Yes, these are prestige items that says something about the country who operates them and yes, would certainly make life easier if the Chinese continue to grow in power. However, they chose to cut those assets because they didn't think they were going to need them. They may be wrong in the future, but not for the moment.

Ultimately, the politics probably has to change. The aforementioned Muldoon example is a good one. If we were to assume that somehow the Philippines and/or Indonesia remained repressive states, for example if the Aquinos were unsuccessful dispatching Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, this would mean that the neighbourhood NZ found herself in was less safe or if the PR China had taken very decisive action against Taiwan and/or Hong Kong and Macau would likely ensure that NZ retained and developed her fighter capability. Indeed, anything that involves NZ feeling threatened and at all less than supported by Australia probably means that NZ retains and develops her fighter capability and developing her Maritime recon, aerial refuelling and Naval assets alongside. In that sense NZ chose not to do this, because they didn't feel they needed to do that, much as Ireland feels reasonably safe and secure next-door to the UK and not far from France, the Netherlands and Germany who all have submarines and well developed fighter capabilities and can act swiftly within the NATO framework to defend a non-NATO, EU partner. FYI, the Irish had fighters in the past, they operated Hawker Hurricanes until round about the end of the Second World War, Supermarine Seafires until 1955 and de Havilland Vampires in the Cold War. Presently, they do not operate any kind of fighter, instead relying on a training craft, the Pilatus PC-9 and collaboration with the British for air defence. Change the calculus and they step-up their capabilities.
And wouldn't their sea defense be better served with SSKs rather than fighters?
 
And wouldn't their sea defense be better served with SSKs rather than fighters?
There was a defence review back in the 1970s (I think) which made that exact point but in relation to the RNZN, not the RNZAF. The argument was that SSKs were far better for defence, including ASW work, so the frigates should be retired and half a dozen SSKs acquired. Nobody took it very seriously, thank God, since the RNZN does a lot of jobs which don't involve sinking ships (even if subs are meant to do that 😉). Still, the idea was certainly alive for some time.
 
Your dates aren't quite right. The F-16 lease cancellation announcement was in March 2000, the decision to disband the ACW in May 2000
Thanks, the 2002 date didn't make sense because the planes had a 30 month delivery schedule. However 14 months is enough time for the hidden costs to be uncovered and reported up.

Why did they need hush kits? Is their proposed base next to a swanky part of Aukland?
 
In that sense NZ chose not to do this, because they didn't feel they needed to do that, much as Ireland feels reasonably safe and secure next-door to the UK and not far from France, the Netherlands and Germany who all have submarines and well developed fighter capabilities and can act swiftly within the NATO framework to defend a non-NATO, EU partner. FYI, the Irish had fighters in the past, they operated Hawker Hurricanes until round about the end of the Second World War, Supermarine Seafires until 1955 and de Havilland Vampires in the Cold War. Presently, they do not operate any kind of fighter, instead relying on a training craft, the Pilatus PC-9 and collaboration with the British for air defence. Change the calculus and they step-up their capabilities.
Not sure you should use Irish Defence procurement/planning/usage for any real guide to anything tbh. I mean both the Seafires and the Vampires were training aircraft not the fighter variants and really nobody had much of any plan on their usage, it was more a case of "sure what's the UK getting rid of that we can get it cheap". There was never any radar system for interception for example.

Though you are right about things changing the calculus, the intention due to joining the EEC (due to concerns from the other nations about a neutral non NATO member) was to build up capabilities though that fell apart, but even then there was never intention about Jets.
 
Thanks, the 2002 date didn't make sense because the planes had a 30 month delivery schedule. However 14 months is enough time for the hidden costs to be uncovered and reported up.

Why did they need hush kits? Is their proposed base next to a swanky part of Aukland?
They were going to be based at Ohakea, which is close to two small settlements but otherwise essentially rural.

I'm still puzzled by the hush kit reference, since they are simply not a thing for F-16s, or any other combat aircraft. Nobody I have spoken to or seen discussing the F-16 acquisition for the RNZAF who were actually involved in it has mentioned these hidden costs, and neither does the official government review of the deal that eventually led to cancellation (the recommendation of a reduced acquisition being over-ruled). The cancellation happened under the wider aegis of the government reviewing the need for an air combat capability at all. Unverified "hidden costs" and hush kits that don't exist had nothing to do with it.

Summary of the review below:

Summary of the cancellation announcement. Note the statement "There would still be a significant cost involved in purchasing a smaller number of aircraft. In addition, such a decision would have prejudged the broader question of whether New Zealand should retain an air combat capability. That is a matter the government wants to take more time to address."
Addressing that took a mere 8 weeks, which in hindsight suggests it was already a foregone conclusion.:

 
Interesting. Searching online it seems Turkey only has the older CN-235, and I can't find any information on it using said aircraft as "bomb trucks". Jordan has developed a "gunship" version of both aircraft, and, of course, there are armed maritime patrol versions of both. A "bomb truck" though? Do you have any links?
 
And wouldn't their sea defense be better served with SSKs rather than fighters?
Their defence in general is better supported by dollars going to SSKs, LAVs for the Army, helicopters for the Army, light cargo planes for the Air Force, marine patrol for the Air Force, frigates or destroyers for the navy, patrol boats for the Navy or better comms for everybody.

They *could* buy fast jets off a number of vendors, however.
 
I'm still puzzled by the hush kit reference, since they are simply not a thing for F-16s, or any other combat aircraft.
At the risk of belabouring a point made for illustrative purposes I hadn't heard of hush kits for F16s either. However according to the NZMOD they are at thing, their designation is T40 and they cost $1 million each.

As for the 'hidden' costs, the F16 lease-buy was not a conventional acquisition project like the recent NZ P8 & C130J where the NZMOD looks into the requirements in great detail, works out exactly what NZ needs and then arrives at a price for the entire project. It was a half arsed proposal to lease-buy the aircraft alone that was so cheap that NZ leapt at it and sorted out the actual requirements later. Apart from~$20 million for hush kits there was the $1 million for tech pubs, $1 million each annually for the 5 user groups not to mention shit like spare engines, their cradles/cranes and a raft of supporting gear. All this was being worked out after the plane deal handshake so the NZ $200 million over 10 years became over a hundred million to be paid in 30 months.

Of course the bureaucratic bullshit behind a major Defence acquisition project isn't going to be front and centre of a government report, that will focus on the political aspect.
 
Not sure you should use Irish Defence procurement/planning/usage for any real guide to anything tbh.
Quite, I concede it's not a perfect parallel, for the very reasons you cited, it's more that both states feel comfortable and safe enough not to need to be decisive, whether they are right is irrelevant. As long as Australia is prepared to continue to invest and the other powers, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea continue to want to invest significant resources into defence, keeping threats away from them, New Zealand won't. They are far away enough and protected by the decisive actions of other regional powers enough, they don't need to, just as the Irish Government can be reassured that the United Kingdom and other local EU (and friendly NATO) states will stand by them (or escort threats away from them), should they need it. It's not an effective use of the financial resources that their taxpayers are prepared to support through the ballot box. That might change, but not right now.
 
just as the Irish Government can be reassured that the United Kingdom and other local EU (and friendly NATO) states will stand by them (or escort threats away from them), should they need it. It's not an effective use of the financial resources that their taxpayers are prepared to support through the ballot box. That might change, but not right now.
This is concern of the Irish government whenever there is talk of an EU armed force. That would mean that Ireland, for the first time, would need to have a real defence budget to pay it's share of defending Europe and not have other countries do it for them.
 
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The British Government would have vetoed any moves anyway, whilst we were in. At the moment the arrangement works reasonably well, law enforcement, air traffic control, border control, maritime search and rescue etc work reasonably but imperfectly well together when they need to. Same with NZ and Australia. Change the politics, say PR China gets a lot more dominant (or Scotland becomes independent), that changes.

The question then becomes, if NZ suddenly did have to build up their offensive capability, clearly the RNZN and RNZAF are prioritised, along with Special Forces and intelligence capabilities, but what do they choose? In my original post I cited F-16s because it was an easy shorthand, an example of what was in the market, F-35 Lightning IIs are powerful aircraft to be sure, but not exactly cheap to purchase and presumably you'd have to get at least 30 of them (12 per 2 Squadrons plus say about 3 per Squadron in spare parts) for it to be worth doing. Add in training and support, plus strengthening the Navy's strike abilities too, this is a major procurement program that would have to have a BIG investment of political capital and thus public support. I'm not entirely confident that anything short of the annexation of Taiwan or an actual war in the South China Sea would be enough for them to do it.
 
The British Government would have vetoed any moves anyway, whilst we were in.
Short of military action, how would we stop the Irish from buying some planes if they wanted to? We could maybe pressure the Swedes into not selling them any but I doubt the Yanks would think twice about throwing them a few second hand F-16s if they asked.


Edit - cancel that, I misread the post NM1 was replying to!
 
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The British Government wouldn't object to Ireland boosting it's all but non existent defence forces. The British Government would (while a member) do everything in its power to prevent the EU gaining its own military rather than relying on the individual members own armed forces. Once the EU had its own military it would have all but completed its efforts to become a single country with the member nations reduced to the same status as an American state.
 
The UK would veto any attempt at a more consolidated EU army faster than it takes to say the phrase "the lady's not for turning" and would have a HUGE problem with Ireland's involvement in it and would make Brexit and even more complicated thing. It probably makes getting out of Northern Ireland more appealing rather than having to share a land border with people whose foreign, defence and trade policy is so totally the opposite of our own at that point. Which would totally not go down well with the DUP, but that's not the topic is it?

Seriously, F-35s? Or do the Kiwis go down some totally different route? Do they get small attack submarines like the Dolphin-type made for the Israelis for example? 6 of those, 45 crew a piece isn't messing about. Certainly more patrol vessels and maybe some gunships, perhaps Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos or something like that adds to the offensive capability without totally breaking the bank and can be treated as a platform to introduce further expansion if needed.
 
Seriously, F-35s? Or do the Kiwis go down some totally different route? Do they get small attack submarines like the Dolphin-type made for the Israelis for example? 6 of those, 45 crew a piece isn't messing about. Certainly more patrol vessels and maybe some gunships, perhaps Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos or something like that adds to the offensive capability without totally breaking the bank and can be treated as a platform to introduce further expansion if needed.
I'm thinking the Grippen is probably a likely choice if New Zealand was to buy new fast jets from the world market. That being said some form of "deal" for used F16's or F18's probably wouldn't be out of the question if New Zealand wanted to get back into the fast jet game today.

I suppose used Swiss (or perhaps other ?) F5's might also conceivably be in the running if the capability matched the needs as seen by New Zealand (maybe a basic homeland defense CAP type of capability to deal with wayward airliners.)
 
This is concern of the Irish government whenever there is talk of an EU armed force. That would mean that Ireland, for the first time, would need to have a real defence budget to pay it's share of defending Europe and not have other countries do it for them.
Not really, as I've said before the entire topic came up during the Accession Talks from the 60's onwards as we were going to be the first member that wasn't also a NATO member, the Government at the time and afterwards fully understood this and plans were drawn up, hence in the 80's pretty much all 3 services had planes for development (the Eithne was to be 3 ships, the AC intending to build up light helicopters (originally Lynx, ended up Dolphin (never let the AC pick an aircraft)), the Army building up a light mechanised battalion to NATO standard.

But the UK stance on any European mandated defence cooperation and the 80's recession killed that off. If it hadn't the DF would be a far different animal nowadays.
 
The UK would veto any attempt at a more consolidated EU army faster than it takes to say the phrase "the lady's not for turning" and would have a HUGE problem with Ireland's involvement in it and would make Brexit and even more complicated thing. It probably makes getting out of Northern Ireland more appealing rather than having to share a land border with people whose foreign, defence and trade policy is so totally the opposite of our own at that point. Which would totally not go down well with the DUP, but that's not the topic is it?

Seriously, F-35s? Or do the Kiwis go down some totally different route? Do they get small attack submarines like the Dolphin-type made for the Israelis for example? 6 of those, 45 crew a piece isn't messing about. Certainly more patrol vessels and maybe some gunships, perhaps Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos or something like that adds to the offensive capability without totally breaking the bank and can be treated as a platform to introduce further expansion if needed.
Nah, the UK wouldn't really give a flying monkies about Ireland being part of any EU defence to be honest.

As for what the Kiwis might do, don't forget the Dolphin's get a significant cost sharing from Germany for clear reasons so the price tag for New Zealand would be higher.
 
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