New Zealand Plans a Massive Defence Investments in Land Systems and Soldier Equipment

WELLINGTON (BM) – Recent investments in land capabilities have provided improved combat capabilities to New Zealand’s land forces, learened, quoting Army Recognition.

This has included improved tactical vehicles for the New Zealand Special Operations Forces, and the introduction of the MARS-L rifle as the standard individual weapon of the New Zealand Defence Force.

The vehicle fleets of the New Zealand Army are reaching the end of their operational service at the same time as digital technologies are dramatically changing the nature of warfare. Investments in land capabilities out to 2030 will focus on replacing vehicle fleets with those more suited to the threats of a modern battlefield, integrating digital capabilities into new and existing platforms, and rolling these capabilities out across all aspects of the New Zealand Army. Following 2030, New Zealand Army equipment will be required to increase to support the increase of the Service to 6000 people by 2035. This will ensure that land forces will maximise the increased capacity and sustainability required to meet the challenges of the future.

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Investment decisions planned for 2019

Network Enabled Army – Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. The first phase of the Network Enabled Army programme has made significant progress towards providing the New Zealand Army with digitised command and communication technology, battlefield management systems and secure satellite communications. This second phase further extends the communications networks and will introduce improved surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, integrating them into the systems already delivered under phase one. Collectively, phase one and two will provide real-time situational awareness to commanders.

Investment decisions planned for 2020

Protected Mobility: a variety of land mobility vehicles will be required to ensure that the New Zealand Army is able to operate across diverse environments. This includes vehicles that provide adequate protection from explosive devices, and those that can operate in rugged and hostile terrain.

The Protected Mobility project will replace the army’s fleet of armoured Pinzgauer, providing New Zealand troops with improved armoured, high-mobility and tactical transport options. Undertaken in stages, the capabilities of the highest priority will be introduced, ensuring that New Zealand’s land forces remain suitably resourced for operations anticipated in the future.

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Land Force Protection: as the sophistication of improvised explosive devices continues to evolve, the New Zealand Army will be provided with an enduring solution to counter such devices. This project will focus on counteracting remotely operated devices, reducing the threat to soldiers on modern, networked battlefields.

Investment decisions planned for 2021

Garrison and Training Support Vehicles: the Garrison and Training Support vehicles investment will provide the New Zealand Defence Force with vehicles required to fulfil domestic requirements. This includes vehicles necessary for the training and transport of New Zealand Defence Force personnel, support vehicles such as aircraft refuelling vehicles, and fire appliances for domestic first response. The project will be delivered in phases, beginning in 2021.

Network Enabled Army – Combined Arms Task Group: following the successful integration of networked capabilities into New Zealand Army front line combat capabilities, the Network Enabled Army will be integrated across the full scope of a Combined Arms Task Group, including light armoured vehicles and support units such as artillery, engineers and logisticians.

Investment decisions planned for 2023

Tactical Mobility: investment in modern tactical mobility capabilities, from heavy engineering plant through to small militarised all-terrain vehicles, will provide land forces with the ability to move freely around their area of operation. These capabilities will also enhance force protection through the control of the movement of adversarial forces.

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Network Enabled Army – Sustained Combined Arms Task Group: the final phase of the Network Enabled Army completes the communications network and sensor systems development so that a Combined Arms Task Group can be sustained and supported on a long-term deployment.

Investment decisions planned for 2024

Domestic Counter Explosives: an improved Domestic Counter Explosives capability has been delivered, providing response options able to address explosive threats at short notice throughout the country. These capabilities have improved equipment, and upgraded facilities in Auckland and Wellington. In the late-2020s these capabilities will be refreshed, ensuring that the New Zealand Army remains able to protect
New Zealand communities from possible threats.

Investment decisions planned for 2026

Primary Combat Vehicle: the New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle has acted as the primary land combat vehicle of the New Zealand Defence Force since its introduction in 2003. The NZLAV has provided light armoured transport and combat capabilities. Following the introduction of protected mobility capability, a project will be initiated to consider how best to replace the NZLAV. The capability delivered will provide modern armoured projection and directed firepower to the New Zealand Army.

Investments after 2030

Indicative investments planned between 2030 and 2035 have been included to allow for considered, long-term planning for the Defence Force’s future needs. These capabilities will be reassessed ahead of the 2022 Defence White Paper.

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Land investments after 2030 will focus on the ongoing sustainment and refreshment of capabilities introduced through this plan.

Investments will include continued refreshment and upgrade of Network Enabled Army and night vision equipment. Capabilities will be updated to incorporate new technologies and to take advantage of ongoing developments in communications and surveillance systems, and other hardware and software.

The MARS-L rifle will also be replaced following 2030, while other support weapons, such as artillery, will require reappraisal to ensure they remain technologically and tactically suited to our requirements.

Equipment for the New Zealand Army will also need to be increased to ensure that the Army remains suitably resourced as it increases to a size of 6000 personnel.

Other land investments

In addition to the major investments outlined in this chapter, a variety of other investments will maintain and enhance the land capabilities of the New Zealand Defence Force. These include:

  • a contemporary replacement or upgrade for the New Zealand Army’s anti-armour weapon, the FGM-148 Javelin missile;
  • further investment in specialised Special Operations Forces combat vehicles in the late 2020s;
  • and Various refreshes of minor New Zealand Army equipment, including soldier systems, to ensure that the New Zealand Army remains a properly resourced land combat force.

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Source: Army Recognition