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Heavy weapons

So what do we do when the shit hits the fan?
The force outlined here is designed to do what the NZDF actually does most of the time.  It intervenes in disasters and acts as a super-police force in places like the Solomon's or Timor Leste when the government collapses. It builds stuff in Afghanistan or it hunts pirates or generally deals with less than lethal circumstances.
But what happens if the hot war risk becomes serious? How can a defence force with no air superiority and no sea power fight?

Strategic Perspective

First of all defending New Zealand's beaches from ravening hordes is not going to happen. No enemy fighter jet has a combat radius of 3,000 nautical miles. For planes to get close enough they'd have to be on a carrier. The only Navy which has spare capacity to attack New Zealand and defend its home territories is the USA.

Nobody (except the USA) has the logistics capability to invade us, either. China won't even invade Taiwan 100 miles away so they are not going to invade New Zealand. So what about the next level down? What happens if a Pacific Island protectorate falls prey to a corrupt dictator who enlists a large super-power that wants to set up a base there? Answer: nothing. Why would any New Zealand Prime Minister risk our international trade for some Pacific Island? So realistically we are never going to fight a super-power.
 
Could we be lent on by a larger power the way Britain lent on Iceland during the cod-wars? Prospective leaners are Australia,  Japan and France, all nations we have nominally friendly relations with. As with Iceland there is no way we can fight these nations in a hot war and any exchanges would be largely symbolic (like the 1974 Muroroa Atoll protests which involved the frigates Wellington and Otago).
 
So what sort of combat scenarios do we need to think about?
In my view they come down to these:
1. Fighting in Irian Jaya between Papuan rebels (sponsored in part by Australian intelligence) and the TNI draws in Australian forces to help defend the Papuan border and we join in.
2. Pol Pot type figure takes over a Pacific Island and gets rocket-launchers from somewhere.
3. Everything falls apart and civil war breaks out in Fiji
4. Terrorism attack within New Zealand.
5. Peacekeeping under UN auspices in conjunction with larger militaries
 
Note: there is not much chance of any of these combatants operating military aircraft. There is the possibility that our forces might encounter hostile tanks or armoured fighting vehicles, or improvided air support (a light helicopter with a gunner in it).
What sort of heavy weapons do we need in such circumstances?
 

Air Support Weapons

Currently the RNZAF has a stock of old AGM-65 Maverick which can be fired by the SH-2G Seasprite. The Maverick is a guided by the operator at high sub-sonic speed onto the target up to 22km and packs  57kg or 136kg punch. It's useful for destroying ships, bridges, tanks (both military ones and storage ones), and buildings. The missile weighs 210 - 300kg and costs $17-$200K depending on the version.  While the Navy like to imagine they would use them to shoot enemy ships the Maverick is no match for the Goalkeeper or Phalanx defensive gatling guns used on Naval ships as close-in defensive systems because it lacks the sea-skimming ability of an anti-shipping missile like the Exocet and so approaches in a high, relatively easily detected arc.  What this really means is that the Maverick is for attacking civilian ships and infrastructure. In the US it has largely been supersceded by guided bombs.
 
A better weapon will be the:
 
 
This 120kg $40,000 weapon is intended for precision strikes in areas where there is a risk of hurting innocents. It is much smaller than most bombs so its blast is more contained.
This and other precision guided munitions could be deployed by UAV as it is best launched from altitude.
The GA Avenger would give the system a 3,000 nautical mile delivery radius, with terminal guidance either from the field closer to the target or from a KC-390.
 
Another weapon worth keeping an eye on is the
 
 
 
 
This long 70mm diameter laser guided rocket has a focused warhead for destroying helicopters and vehicles.
It is considerably smaller than the Hellfire missile fired from US Predator drones in Afghanistan.
It could be deployed from the GA Avenger as well as the A109 helicopter and later from ground vehicles.
The missile was originally intended to be used in 70mm unguided rocket pods.
 
The A109 can also carry 70mm unguided rockets and the weapon could be mounted on light armoured vehicles , unarmoured vehicles and helicopter mobile mounts.

Non-lethal air support weapons

A non-lethal aerial weapon for air-drop delivery from a transport aircraft could be developed from skunk, a maloderant developed by the Israel Defence Force.
Because the weapon simply makes an apalling smell it is not technically a chemical weapon. It would be particularly useful for dropping on camps or other places where hostile forces congregate.


Sea-based Weapons

The main weapon of the current force is the Anzac frigates with 127mm gun, SeaSparrow anti-aircraft missile and Mk32 torpedoes.
 
The OPVs and HMNZS Canterbury carry a 25mm cannon for seeing off short-range hostiles and it is proposed to intall LAV III turrets on the Marine Fast Cat.
 
If for some completely unknown reason it became necessary it would possible to mount the Russian 3M-54K anti-shipping missile on any ship (logistics support or cat) able to carry a shipping container. The 3M-54 is probably one of the most deadly anti-shipping missiles on the market and certainly superior to the Exocet. However as there is almost no likelihood that we will ever need to engage enemy navies on the high seas there is no immediate need to consider this option.
 
 
The idea of the Cats (and the logistics ships) is that they can carry any mission package in sea containers at the rear including anti-aircraft missiles (such as Denel's Umkhonto),  or  torpedo tubes,
or the navalised120mm AMOS mortar system from Patria. They move so fast that they are almost invulnerable to torpedoes and acting in a swarm can overwhelm single (more expensive) attackers.


Another option is the Lockheed Martin Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System. The precision guided rocket system is no getting to the point where it has a range of 120km with 1m CER. Mounted on a truck or sea container based system it would provide colossal fire power if needed.

Land-based Weapons

In the scenarios above the problem is most of the places combat is likely to occur are probably remote. That means roads are not likely to be available.

The best weapons in that scenario are the L16 81mm mortar or the old 106mm recoilless rifle. Anything else would be too damn heavy.