The New Zealand Defence Force may soon acquire at least two or four C-17s to replace its ageing C-130 Hercules fleet and Boeing 757 transport aircraft.
15th Jan 2015
The New Zealand Defence Force may soon acquire at least two or four C-17s to replace its ageing C-130 Hercules fleet and Boeing 757 transport aircraft. Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has reportedly requested a price quote for the massive Boeing C-17 Globemaster at the suggested cost per unit of $400 million.
According to Stuff.co, New Zealand First defence spokesperson Ron Mark has blasted the idea of replacing the Hercules fleet with the more expensive aircraft. He said there was "no way" the government could justify $2 billion to be spent on replacing New Zealand's Hercules fleet. Mark had assumed that each of New Zealand's five Hercules aircraft will be replaced with a new unit. Previous reports have noted that the C-17 aircraft has more space to carry a payload of more than four and a half times of Hercules.
Flightglobal reported that an "undisclosed customer" had placed an order for two of the 10 "white tail" C-17s Boeing under construction. Australia had publicly requested to purchase four of the planes in November as stated in the U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Acquisition notification. Boeing will be closing its C-17 production line in 2015.
In New Zealand's Defence Capability Plan released in June 2014, the defence department has identified a requirement to replace its fleet of C-130 Hercules and 757s in an effort to maintain the country's current range of capabilities. This is in line with the military's plan to continue providing strategic and tactical support for people and cargo including both low and high level missions, medical support and search and rescue capabilities, Australian Aviation reported.