Procurement: July 26, 2001


New Zealand's recent proposal to basically get rid of it's air force is basically a result of tight budgets and no local enemies. Living pretty much by yourselves at the bottom of the world has it's advantages. Attempts to buy replacements for its ancient (and increasingly expensive to repair and operate) A-4s met with price and reliability problems. Warplanes from the United States or Europe were too expensive, and those from Russia had reliability and availability of spare parts problems. The one aircraft New Zealand does want to upgrade are it's P-3 naval recon planes. But New Zealand is not interested in upgrading the anti-submarine capabilities, but is interested in adding the capability to carry air to surface missiles (Harpoon or AS-30.) These are needed to deal with the growing threat of piracy in Pacific shipping lanes. Aircraft like the P-3 can watch large ocean areas for pirates, and use those missiles if one is encountered. 


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