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Royal New Zealand Air Force Orders of Battle 1985-1990

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— 2 Squadron (RNZAF Base Ohakea/RAAF Base Nowra)

Aircraft: TA-4K Skyhawk; later also A-4G Kahu [replaced by JAS 39E/F in 2007]

Re-established July 1986. Initially used as OTU and to provide aggressors for RAN air-defence exercises; later received ex-RAN A-4G Kahu (following RAN receipt of upgraded A-4M) and formed secondary attack component of RAAF northern defence force.

— 3 Squadron (RNZAF Base Ohakea)

Aircraft: UH-1H Iroquois, Bell 47G-3B-2 (later Agusta A109LUH)

Battlefield helicopter squadron. Bell 47G used for ab initio training; replaced by Agusta A109LUH (four delivered 1988, six more 1989). UH-1H replaced by Battlefield Lynx (equiv. AH.9) post-war.

— 5 Squadron (RNZAF Base Auckland)

Aircraft: P-3K Orion

Maritime/ASW patrol squadron. Three P-3K deployed to Fiji in support of Operation SOUTHERN CROSS January 1986, supplemented by fourth (Kawasaki-built) airframe in June 1986. Fiji detachment involved in Coup of May 1987, ANZUS intervention (Operation POHUTUKAWA) October 1987. Total of four additional airframes purchased from Kawasaki 1985-1988.

— 6 Squadron (RNZAF Base Auckland)

Aircraft: Wasp HAS.1; later also Lynx Mk.53 (HAS.3)

Operates all naval helicopters assigned to RNZN vessels. Six Lynx Mk.53 (equiv. HAS.3) received as part of transfer of HMNZS Achilles, Northland, Taranaki and HMAS Culgoa (ex-HMS Ariadne) November 1987. One airframe remained assigned to Culgoa and operated by 6 Squadron RNZAF 1987-1990, transferred to RNZAF/RNZN operation with decommissioning of Culgoa in 1991. Wasps retired post-war. [Lynx Mk.53s upgraded to Mk.58/HMA.8 standard 1999-2002.]

— 14 Squadron (RNZAF Base Ohakea)

Aircraft: Strikemaster Mk.88; later Hawk 68

Tactical jet ab initio training unit. Strikemasters subjected to manoeuvre limitations following discovery of fatigue-cracking issues August 1985; five Hawk 68 procured as interim replacement January 1987, with ten more following September 1988.

— 40 Squadron (RNZAF Base Auckland)

Aircraft: C-130H(NZ) Hercules; Boeing 727

Long-range transport squadron. Boeing 727s operated as VIP transports, replaced with 757s post-war.

— 42 Squadron (RNZAF Base Ohakea)

Aircraft: Andover C.1; later also Beech Kingair B200 (1988 onwards)

Andovers formerly operated by 1 Squadron (disestablished 1984) in tactical transport role. B200s used for aerial navigator training.

— 75 Squadron (RNZAF Base Ohakea)

Aircraft: TA-4K/A-4K Skyhawk (upgraded to Kahu standard 1992) [replaced by JAS 39E/F in 2012]

Primary tactical fighter squadron of RNZAF Strike Wing. Logistical constraints precluded deployment outside New Zealand during WW3.

— 487 Squadron (RNZAF Base Ohakea)

Aircraft: A-4Kahu Skyhawk [replaced by JAS 39E/F in 2010]

Re-established in United States 1985, formed on ex-AMARC A-4Fs upgraded to Kahu standard before acceptance. Under operational control RAF Canada throughout war; stationed at NAS Whidbey Island 1985-1990. Participated in First Battle of Vancouver, Battle of Puget Sound, Second Battle of Vancouver.

Notes:

Kahu upgrade suite for A-4s was in trials (3 airframes completed) pre-war as a private offering to the RNZAF and RAN. It includes APG-65 radar, ring-laser gyro, other modern avionics, and compatibility with GBU-12/-16 LGBs, AIM-9H/L, AIM-7F, AGM-65D/E/G, AGM-88A missiles. Contractors performed upgrade work at-cost for the RNZAF as A-4F/M airframes arrived from AMARC, with 487 Squadron being stood-up when five more had been completed and sufficient pilots had arrived from NZ. All RAN A-4G airframes were also upgraded to Kahu standard during the war, but were transferred to the RNZAF when Singaporean-built A-4Ms (equipped with the APG-65 etc.) became available.

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