03 Oktober 2011

New Era in RNZAF Advanced Pilot Training Signalled

03 Oktober 2011

RNZAF Beechcraft King Air B200 (photo : NZFF)

The Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, has announced moves to develop a new advanced pilot training capability for the RNZAF. This will include new advanced trainer aircraft.

“In future pilots will train on fast and manoeuvrable aircraft which provide much more rigorous and realistic training. This will prepare them effectively for the demanding military flying they will be called upon to perform in service,” said Dr Mapp.

“The upgraded P3 Orion and C-130 Hercules aircraft and the NH90 helicopter are frontline military aircraft that are routinely flown well beyond normal civil parameters.

“Currently advanced pilot training is done using King Air B200s. These twin-engine civilian planes are limited in the power, manoeuvrability and cockpit visibility needed for training at this level.

Comparison with Australia and Canada (photo : Beehive)

“They are also not equipped with the modern generation electronic instruments, communications and situational awareness aids that are important features of our new and upgraded aircraft and helicopters.”

Dr Mapp said last year’s Defence White Paper was clear that pilot training needs to match the full range of operational demands made on aircrew.

“A Request for Information from industry has been released today, covering provision of suitable aircraft as well as different training options including the use of simulators.”

“The Government is open to either leasing or purchasing aircraft, and innovative ways of managing the support and operation of new aircraft. We will be encouraging industry to work with the RNZAF to introduce this new training capability as quickly as possible.

“The project exemplifies the Government’s openness to working with industry to develop innovative solutions that deliver better services more efficiently.”

Dr Mapp noted the King Air fleet would still be needed for multi-engine and continuation training and utility transport tasks. A project to upgrade or replace the current King Airs, for which the lease expires at the end of June next year, is underway.


See Also :

Defence Capability Plan launched
03 Oktober 2011

The Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, today launched the new Defence Capability Plan.

“This plan sets out how Defence will carry out the Defence White Paper strategies over the next decade,” said Dr Mapp.

“It will guide our decisions on shaping frontline units and on the equipment and capability they will have. It takes into account affordability, resources and defence priorities”.

“The plan is not just a list of projects and equipment. Capability for the Defence Force is about transporting and sustaining a deployable Defence Force here and overseas. It is about using modern technology to give the entire defence force a common operating picture. And it is about ensuring our men and women in uniform are equipped to meet all the challenges they face, from combat through to disaster relief.”

The plan includes new projects covering the next decade, including upgrading or replacing the Seasprite helicopters, a systems upgrade for the ANZAC frigates, a Special Forces Battle Training facility, and a land transport capability programme.

“An important project is a new pilot training capability, including finding advanced training aircraft to replace the current King Air B200s,” said Dr Mapp.

There are also plans for network-enabled systems which are interoperable across the Defence Force and multinationally.

Dr Mapp said the plan signals good opportunities for local industry.

“Industry is a key partner in delivering new and upgraded equipment, and in maintaining it. We already work closely with a number of companies, and there will be many more opportunities for industry, particularly in infrastructure and information technology projects.”

He said the projects in the Capability Plan could be funded for the next ten years from accumulated depreciation, with no need for extra capital. Any increase in costs would be met by reallocating existing resources within Defence.
(The Defence Capability Plan can be found at


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