About 12 years ago New Zealand retired its skyhawks and has since not replaced them. They looked at purchasing a number of F16's off the US but cancelled due to the cost.
But is it now time for the New Zealand goverment to readdress the issue of it's lack of air defence in this area. And with the Superhornet Eurofighter and Joint Strike fighters now coming into service should they be looking at wheather they could purchase or lease a number of fighter to protect NZ airspace. Or does the RAAF currently protect NZ airspace in some way now ?
The city of Joyce, Wilde, Beckett and unfortunatly Bono
Is there any need for jet fighters? (not a flame btw, honest question).
Have been looking at NZ military recently(thread on another forum), its similar in size, role, budget etc to Ireland which also no longer operates fighters due to costs.IMHO future investment in the RNZAF should be transport or maritime patrol aircraft which are getting on in years.
If NZ was ever really interesting in keeping its fingers in the fighter pie it would be better if it joined the RAAF in the JSF program, pay a small percentage of the costs for the new aircraft, base say 6-10 of the RAAF's JSF's in NZ with NZ pilots and ground crews etc, and integrate them as part of the RAAF.
It's a shame the Kiwi Aermacchis were retired. They were neat machines and good for at least keeping a light attack/advanced training capability. I doubt NZ will go for fighters... maybe something like a Hawk 200 would be better suited for their needs. Small, capable and affordable.
The NZ government quickly shot down (no pun intended) rumors that some trainers may be taken back into service a few years ago...maybe I'm being ignorant but the New Zealand gov. doesn't seem to care too much about the state of the NZDF.