Development of maritime surveillance and tactical airlift capability to drive New Zealand’s defense expenditure, says GlobalData

Driven by the requirement to expand maritime surveillance and tactical airlift competence, New Zealand’s defense budget is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.76% from US$2.9bn in 2021 to US$3.3bn in 2026, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s report, ‘New Zealand Defense Market – Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2026’, reveals that the country’s capital defense budget accounted for 27.2% of the country’s total defense budget in 2021, an increase of 5.6% from 2020.

Rouble, Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “New Zealand has no tangible military threats to worry about. Therefore, its military needs are modest. Offensive capability is not a priority. New Zealand is concerned with patrolling its coastlines and keeping its sea lanes open. Its major concern is limited to policing duties in the near vicinity and assisting other South-Pacific nations deal with their emergencies. That is why the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is being deployed to countries such as East Timor and the Solomon Islands.”

New Zealand’s geographic location allows it to maintain a minimum credible force with an acquisition budget for 2021 at US$0.78bn, primarily for the procurement of a fleet of P-8A for maritime patrolling and C-130J-30 transport aircraft.

Rouble continues: “Driven by its need to secure its extensive Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the country is expanding its inventory of P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft. Additionally, the country is investing in modernizing its airlift capabilities and is in the process of replacing its aging fleet of C-130H with more modern C-130J-30 Super Hercules. The government has already made a significant investment in the ANZAC frigates upgradation, Te Mana and Te Kaha to enhance its naval combat capabilities.”

To support the naval patrol, sealift and combat capabilities, a new fleet of maritime helicopters is anticipated to be acquired in 2028, replacing the eight existing Seasprite SH-2G(I). Additionally, a dedicated Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel is planned to be delivered around 2027, which will increase the level of capability and safety for operations in the Southern ocean, allowing for a broader patrol area and the ability to stay within fishing grounds for greater durations.

Rouble concludes: “New Zealand is working to improve its space-based and cyber security capabilities to generate additional data deemed critical to efficient and optimal functioning of the defense forces. The increased investment will benefit the present capabilities and ensure that the security, humanitarian and disaster relief operations can be undertaken with relevant, up-to-date information.”

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