New vehicles for NZ Special ForcesDefence
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today that the New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment will receive new high mobility specialist vehicles to replace its old Pinzgauer fleet.
In 2015 Cabinet approved funding of $28 million to replace the existing Pinzgauer Special Operations fleet with four different types of vehicles to ensure the Special Forces can continue to meet all their operational requirements.
Mr Brownlee says the existing Pinzgauer Special Operations vehicle entered service in 2005, and since then it has seen extensive and arduous service.
“This experience, combined with the demands of contemporary missions and equipment, has led to the need to replace the Pinzgauers with a range of more modern vehicles that keep our elite Special Operations Forces at the leading edge,” Mr Brownlee says.
For operational security reasons the number of vehicles in the SAS fleet is not revealed. The first new vehicle type to be acquired is the Supacat Extenda high mobility vehicle, which will be provided by Supacat Australia.
“The Supacat is a proven capability which has been used on operations by a number of our key defence partners,” Mr Brownlee says.
The Defence White Paper 2016 noted that New Zealand’s Special Operations Forces need to be trained and equipped to deploy across a range of operations, from long-range reconnaissance to domestic counter-terrorism and explosive ordinance disposal.
The new vehicles will be delivered in the final quarter of 2017. Supacat will also be responsible for maintaining the new vehicle fleet.
“Work continues on identifying a number of other vehicles suitable for a range of possible operations for the SAS as part of this project,” Mr Brownlee said.