Murphy's Law: New Zealand Skyhawks Find A Home

Archives

August 14, 2012: Eleven years after retiring its last combat aircraft (17 A-4K Skyhawk light bombers and 17 MB-339 jet trainers), New Zealand has finally found a buyer for some of these aircraft. An American firm, that trains military pilots, has bought eight A-4K Skyhawks for about a million dollars each. The other nine Skyhawks had already been donated to museums. Nine MB-339 jet trainers were also sold to the American firm for about the same price. The remaining MB-339s had also gone to museums or monuments.

New Zealand had earlier been offered as much as $9 million for each of 17 Skyhawks but was unable to get U.S. approval for that sale. Meanwhile, it has cost New Zealand over three million dollars a year to store and maintain the 17 A-4Ks and 17 MB-339s since 2001. Back then New Zealand decided it no longer needed jet combat aircraft. There was a proposal to lease some U.S. F-16s for a decade, but most New Zealanders didn't see sufficient reason to keep maintaining that kind of aircraft. All New Zealand has now is P-3 maritime patrol aircraft (armed with depth charges and torpedoes) and some armed helicopters. New Zealand is a tiny country (population 4.4 million) whose nearest neighbors are Australia (1,500 kilometers to the northeast) some sparsely populated Polynesian islands (1,000 kilometers to the north) and Antarctica ( 5,000 kilometers). South America is over 5,000 kilometers to the east. Everything else seems to be more than 5,000 kilometers away. So who needs jet fighters?

 

 

 


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close