May 4, 2017

SubMatt's Prediction of 4 x P-8s for New Zealand's MPA Buy Seems on Money

In “Japan selling its P-1 and C-2 military aircraft to NZ at low prices?” of January 10, 2017 I wrote that:

think New Zealand (NZ) plays it safe and traditional in its military hardware buying patterns. This will work against Japan's: P-1 MPAs. Instead, I think NZ buying 
4 x P-8 Poseidon MPAs is more likely.” 

The prediction of 4 x P-8s seems to be working out.

I don’t know if the US Government ordinarily publishes documents like this on the US Government’s decision to clear the possible sale to New Zealand of 4 x P-8 Poseidon MPAs.

New Zealand has not yet decided which MPA it will buy in coming years given there are competing offers of the Airbus DS C295 and Japanese Kawasaki P-1.

New Zealand sees the P-8 as expensive and seems to want to bargain down the price. One way to do this is for NZ to buy the P-8s with a bargain from the same company (Boeing) on long range transport/VIP aircraft. The Royal NZ Air Force (RNZAF) is currently using 2 x Boeing 757s due for replacement in 2020. 

As commented on 12/1/17 2:25 PM [in a discussion of NZ Hercules replacement that may also apply to 757 replacement] "There may be an essential requirement for NZ's Transport aircraft to have the safe range to fly from Christchurch (NZ) to NZ's Scott (Antarctic) Base https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Base and Back unrefueled....So a range of at least 8,000 km and probably 9,000 km or more (headwinds, circling times, need to fly to alternate airports/ice landing zones) might be necessary."

So a NZ purchase from Boeing–US may be in a package of:

-  4 x P-8s (for delivery in 2026) with at least 

-  2 Boeing built, at least 757 sized jets, with safe Antarctica and back extended range (for delivery 
   earlier in 2021).


The Australian Air Force has bought P-8s (note the little Kangaroo decal on the P-8) increasing the likelyhood ally and neighbour New Zealand will do likewise (with a Kiwi decal). (Photo courtesy Boeing via Australian Aviation magazine).
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One of RNZAF's two transport/VIP 757s on ice in Antarctica - in need of replacing around 2020. (Photo courtesy NZ military).
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Pete

8 comments:

Ztev Konrad said...

I dont see NZ going for a 777 sized plane for its Airforce, the weight issues restricts the runways they can use in NZ. The 757 can make it to Mcmurdo and turn around but only with passengers and not freight but maybe the US navy Boeing C40 version would be a choice for the 757 replacement
Saving money would suggest the best bang for bucks is Boeings Challenger executive jet based MPA. Remember too this is election year and all sorts of things are waved in front of voters that wont necessarily appear after the votes are counted.
A new Defence minister has just taken office, hes a combat veteran from Iraq - unusually as security contractor- and may move the funding in favour of the soldiers on the ground rather than the usual way the Airforce and navy gang up on the Army in these matters.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Ztev

True that a 777-200ER at about 300,000kg (MTOW) [1] would be a massive unneeded upgrade over the around 120,000kg (MTOW) 757 [2]. So a Boeing similar to the weight of a 757 is probably the go - as long as it has the safe Antarctica and back extended range.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_777#Specifications

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_757#Specifications

Cheers

Pete


MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

many airlines will replace the 757 with A321LR. The A320-series can even accommodate small LD3-45 containers.

So there is no need to replace a 757 with a 777. A far cheaper solution compared to a 777 would be an A330-200. The A330MRTT / KC-30 is based on that model. Even a used A330 from Qantas would be OK for rare military use.

The advantage for A321LR is, Air New Zealand already is operating A320. So the logistics would be easy.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Nothing like healthy Boeing vs Airbus competition.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_757#Government.2C_military.2C_and_corporate :
"Royal New Zealand Air Force 757 Combi – the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) operates two 757s converted to 757-200M standard by ST Aerospace Services for delivering equipment, medical evacuation, troop movements, and VIP transport.[160][161] A cargo door, upgraded auxiliary power unit, enhanced communications systems, and retractable airstairs are fitted.[161] The two aircraft, which replaced two 727-100QCs,[161] have carried the Prime Minister of New Zealand,[162] as well as flown to the ice-covered Pegasus Field near New Zealand's Scott Base in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.[163]"

No new 757s are being built but there may be a used 757 market highly advantageous to RNZAF customer. The main 757 disadvantage may be limited range unless a used 757 is modified to carry an in-body fuel tank.

757 range - maybe up to 7,000 kms depending on payload https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_757#Specifications looks limited.

Maybe the Airbus A321LR https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A321#A321LR you mention can travel 8,000+ kms with reduced payload?

Regards

Pete

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

youngest 757-200 is about 18 years old. Just some 757-300 are only a little bit older than 12 years. So used 757-200 are no option.

Here official Boeing data (see PDF page 41): http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/commercial/airports/acaps/757_23.pdf
Here is an interesting comparison chart: http://oi57.tinypic.com/5pof8z.jpg

The 757-200 has a slightly higher payload but at about 3,700 nm the A321LR can carry more payload due to lower fuel burn!

A 737MAX could be an option but a main deck cargo door and floor would be required because the 737 just like the 757 can't handle container. An A321 with 3 auxiliary fuel tanks could carry about 7 LD3-45 containers. Without the need for a main deck cargo floor normal seating could be used. That will make an A321LR cheaper than a 737MAX for Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Same reason why most air forces did buy the A330MRTT instead of the 767. The 767 needs main deck cargo to transport any cargo while the A330 has a free lower cargo bay.

Maybe New Zealand could lease one KC-30 from Australia or AirTanker in case a big aircraft is required.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at 10/5/17 8:28 AM]

The age of the 757s and use by Australia of the A330MRTT
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT#Australia are certainly arguments favouring 2 New Zealand A330MRTTs.

The A330MRTT has the maximum range: 14,800 km (8,000 nmi, 9,200 mi) to meet New Zealand's Christchurch to Antartica and back requirement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT#Specifications

New Zealand always seems to wind up in the same theatres of war as Australia, including Iraq, where Australian A330MRTTs are in use.

Only thing is Airbus aircraft aren't useful as sweeteners in any New Zealand Boeing P8 deal.

Cheers

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Operational performance is a measure of reliability, ie, degree of evasion of responsibility in purchasing. In the case of plane crash, if there is operational performance, authorities try to avoid their responsibility by insisting that though they selected aircraft according to proper purchasing procedure, they were tricked by manufacturer of maritime patrol aircraft (MPA). But, if there is not operational performance, evasion of responsibility in purchasing is difficult.

In terms of reliability based on operational performance, Boeing P-8 and Kawasaki P-1 are better options than non exsiting Airbus MPA.

Regards

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
maybe there is another option for New Zealand.
Price for a P-8 is about $125 million. A C-295 is about $30 million. Next huge factor is operational costs. Australia has the P-8 and New Zealand should bring something else to the table. New Zealand also has no fighter jets.

Strange thing about the P-8 is time in the air. The 737 is a fast jet. So range is good at 4,500 nm but due to a cruise speed of 440 kn flying time is just about 10 hours while the C-295 with a 2,900 nm range and a cruise speed of 260 kn flies for 11 hours.

I think one additional Australian KC-30A for New Zealand would be enough. Several NATO members (The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Germany, Belgium and Norway) are going to use a common tanker fleet. New Zealand could on the other side "lease" C-295 for coastal patrol to Australia and get in return some Australian P-8.

Regards,
MHalblaub