New Zealand: Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite news, possible replacement updates, etc....

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Stratofreighter
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New Zealand: Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite news, possible replacement updates, etc....

Post by Stratofreighter »

https://www.avionews.it/item/1256677-ne ... craft.html
New Zealand cuts funding for aircraft

Kaman SH-2 "Seasprite" military helicopters at risk of grounding

Warning from the leaders of the armed forces against the New Zealand government's decision to cut spending in the defense sector.

The risk is that cost savings could ground maritime military helicopters to "get them off the books".

This is what emerged during a hearing at the parliamentary defense committee,
during which the men in uniform warned a "risk of failure" for the defense forces.

"We reduced production to bring the books back to balance. It was tough".

"We are working hard to get people to say that this is the amount of money available.
If you go beyond that, here are the implications":

Defense should "divest" from some capabilities, for example the fleet of "Seasprite" helicopters,
explained the Chief of the Defense Staff, Kevin Short, Air Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (Rnzf).

The New Zealand government has called for potential spending cuts of 6.5-7.5% across various agencies, armed forces and state bodies.

But the Australian Defense Force must also reshape its fleet to address a "singular threat" by China.

"I don't know what the government's comfort line is,
I just think they will take away options that the executive itself wouldn't want", concluded Short.
https://www.nighthawk.nz/index.php/news ... pter-fleet
While he did confirm that the SH-2G(I) fleet’s retirement is now being considered,
he also stressed that the loss of the type would negatively affect the capabilities available to Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) vessels.

At present, six of the RNZN’s nine ships are operational – with three vessels set to be out of action for at least three more years –
but the NZDF does not want to scale back its naval force in these cuts.
There were rumors that the NZDF were thinking of leasing some of the RN's WildCats as an interim.
Monthly updates on FokkerNews.nl....
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Re: New Zealand: Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite news, possible replacement updates, etc....

Post by Stratofreighter »

https://www.australiandefence.com.au/ne ... pter-fleet
4 July 2024

The number of operational SH-2G(I) Seasprite naval helicopters in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF)
has been reduced from eight to five, it has emerged.

The NZDF confirmed on 2 July 2024
that a Seasprite Sustainment Work Program was initiated in mid-2023
to cut the fleet by three platforms.

This will provide additional spare parts to support the remaining five helicopters and increase availability.

There have been growing concerns in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN),
which operates the Seasprites from its ships,
that due to difficulties supporting the helicopters
they would not be able to remain in-service until a replacement is introduced.


Availability rates for the eight Seasprites have crashed over the past few years with just 17 per cent recorded in 2022 and 19 per cent in 2023 - from a high of 38 per cent in 2019.

Since their introduction into service in 2017 the Seasprites have not met their allocated flying hours.
In 2024 the fleet achieved just 429 hours against an expected 850.
This is a significant fall from over 1,000 hours achieved on average up to 2020.

A reduced fleet of five aircraft could mean that an average of three aircraft are available at any one time,
with the other two conducting depot-level maintenance.
However, due to unscheduled maintenance events it is likely that even fewer will be available.

A spokesperson from the NZDF told
that the original aircraft manufacturer Kaman
continues to play a “modest” role as a source of supply for a number of spares.

Originally 10 SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopters were acquired from the Royal Australian Navy in 2016
under the Maritime Helicopter Replacement Programme (MCHP)
to replace an older fleet of five SH-2G(NZ) helicopters in-service since 2001.
Two of the platforms were used for spares and training.

The Seasprites will be replaced with new helicopters under the Maritime Helicopter Replacement (MHR) programme.

A Request for Information was released in April 2023
calling for a proven and capable maritime helicopter
that is widely used internationally
with a global logistics supply chain that will last for the 25-year operational lifespan of the aircraft.

The NZDF wants to move away from
operating orphan fleets of second-hand helicopters that are difficult to support long-term.

Contenders include the
MH-60R Seahawk from Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky,
the AW159 Wildcat from Leonardo,
the NH 90 NATO Frigate Helicopter from Airbus Helicopters and
the Bell 412 Multi-Mission Helicopter from RSG Aerodesign.

The budget for MHR was slated at NZ$1 billion in the Defence Capability Plan 2019
although a new DCP is expected later this year will provide an updated schedule for the MHR.
Monthly updates on FokkerNews.nl....
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