New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark has released the Defence Capability Plan 2019, the first such document of the Ardern-led coalition government.
Following up from the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018, the Plan is designed to highlight the capabilities New Zealand will acquire over the next decade to address New Zealand’s strategic environment out to 2030, while identifying requirements and potential investments post 2030.
“The release of this Plan concludes a series of foundational reviews which align defence policy and planned investments with the Coalition Government’s priorities, including the Pacific Reset, and its commitment to safeguarding and providing resilience for the nation’s wellbeing,” the Minister says in the Plan’s forward.
In the Maritime domain, New Zealand plans to spend up to NZ$3bn (A$2.8bn) out to 2030.
- This includes the immediate withdrawal of two of the RNZN’s four Lake class Inshore Patrol vessels,
- An RFT in 2022 for an NZ$300-$600m project to acquire a new Southern Ocean Patrol vessel built to commercial specifications to patrol NZ’s southern exclusive economic zones from 2027,
- An RFT in 2024 for at least NZ$1bn to replace the five SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite maritime helicopter fleet from 2027,
- NZ$1bn to acquire two new Enhanced Sealift Vessels to initially supplement HMNZS Canterbury from 2029, and then replace that vessel from the early 2030s,
- An enhanced service and maintenance package to allow the extension of the two ANZAC frigates expected service lives beyond 2030,
- Beyond 2030, budget provision will be made to replace the RNZN’s two Protector class Offshore Patrol Vessels with an RFT due to be released in 2027, and the two ANZAC class frigates in the mid 2030s.
In the Land domain, the New Zealand Army will:
- Introduce Tranche One of a new deployable C4ISR capability under the NZ$300-$600m Network Enabled Army (NEA) program,
- The progressive rollout of follow-on tranches of NEA which will include expanded networks, improved ISR capabilities, and the integration of these with the Tranche One capabilities,
- Release an RFT in 2021 to acquire a NZ$100-300m fleet of garrison and training vehicles from 2022,
- New NZ$300-600m staged Protected Mobility Vehicle capability acquisition to replace Army’s Pinzgauer vehicles from 2023,
- In 2025 an RFT will be released to replace the New Zealand Army’s GDLS NZLAV 8×8 armoured vehicles from 2033,
- Funding will continue to be provided to bolster overall Army personnel numbers to 6,000 from 2035.
In the Air domain, New Zealand will acquire:
- NZ$100-300m of Navigation and Communications systems upgrades from 2022,
- At least five new Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules to replace the current C-130H capability from 2023,
- An RFT in 2020 for the acquisition of unmanned, satellite or lower-tier fixed-wing maritime surveillance systems for civilian tasks from 2023 under the Enhanced Maritime Air Surveillance program to supplement the four P-8A Poseidons,
- An RFT in 2026 for a replacement of the leased King Air 350-based aircrew training system with a platform to better prepare crews for the modern C-130J-30, P-8A, and 757 replacement,
- An RFT in 2024 for a new Strategic Air Mobility transport capability to replace two Boeing 757-200s from 2028,
- Post 2030, a new long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capability to support land and maritime forces with improved and continuous ISR.
In the Information domain, the Plan outlines requirements for:
- Enhanced cyber capability from 2021 to improve interoperability with close partners and keep pace with evolving threats, and to be able to generate effects, and to be able to exploit ISR data gleaned from new surveillance capabilities such as the P-8A Poseidon,
- A Tactical remotely Piloted Aircraft from 2025,
- A maritime satellite surveillance capability from 2025,
- A high frequency (HF) radio network requirement from 2026,
- Post 2030, a wideband global satellite communications capability.
The complete document can be found here.