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Labour Scandals was born on 17th Fedruary 2005 to document various ethical, moral and competence problems afflicting our Labour-led Government. Labour Scandals is not linked to any political party, candidate or other organisation. However all dirt is considered, regardless of origin. Obviously I'm not interested in hearing of Helen Clark's glorious policies for funding the Royal New Zealand Ballet. In fact such emails will be deleted as fast as I can move the mouse.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005


UPDATE: I have finally read the 2nd audit which basically insinuates the Army manufactured its case to Cabinet to jack up the numbers of LAVIII's it got. The Army said it needed 105 to sustain two full motorized battalions. However after getting the purchase approved, it changed the strategy of how they are deployed... Also the report says the Army forgot to budget for spare parts (duh), nor did it include depreciation into the cost analysis (duhduh). Also the Army has a dubious FAQ on the LAV's here. Remember, this programme is worth $670 million!

How many LAV-III's can you fit in a RNZAF Hercules?
Answer: None.
Question: How many of the previous M113's could you fit in a RNZAF Hercules?
Answer: One.

In January 2001, Labour committed to purchasing 105 Canadian-built LAV-III armoured cars for $NZ650 million.

2. An August 2001 Auditor-General report said there were various problems with the purchase, including:
There was no strategic management of the project.
(Unfortunately this ACT press release summary is the only documentation of this I can find at the moment)

3. The December 2004 Auditor-General report into the LAV-III purchase is here. I don't have time to read it right now... I can't imagine an improvement over the August 2001 report.

4. There are various physical problems with the LAV-III's, including their use of wheels which prevents true cross-country all-weather performance. Click here for an online presentation of the mobility of a LAV versus a tracked APC given different ground conditions, which clearly shows a dramatic decrease in mobility of the LAV in wet German conditions. The LAV's also don't fit inside the RNZAF's Hercules transport aircraft. You can visit here at StrategyPage for a discussion of the LAV-III versus the updated M113 - the comments have various replies by Iraq veterans experienced with the LAV-III in dry urban warfare situations. Will NZ LAV's ever be deployed in dry urban conditions?

A LAV-25 of the US Marines stuck in mud.
5. According to an anonymous submitter, the Ministry of Defence did not purchase spare parts for the LAV's. This is disturbing, but unsurprising given the complete lack of any competence surrounding this purchase. [unverified]

6. The Auditor General's February 2005 report concluded it was hard to justify the purchase size of the LAV-III's because the numbers required were never quantified in the first place (Herald article). The NZ Army previously had about 65 M113's, which means the Ministry of Defence purchased approximately 40 more LAV-III's than it had trained crews. If the total purchase was worth $650 million, then the value of the 40 extra LAV-III's is approximately $250 million.

7. According to commenter "Desertmole" here, the turrets of our LAV's were manufactured in Australia then shipped to Ontario, Canada to be mated with the hull. Then the entire vehicle was shipped back to Australia for quality and control tests. Ontario is a Great Lakes state, on the eastern side of Canada. Shipping such distances must have dramatically increased the per-unit cost of our LAV-III's.

8. Basically it seems Burton and the Ministry of Defence pulled the numbers and technical requirements of the LAV-III's out of their collective rear ends. They can always strip the extra LAV-III's for spare parts...

Haloscan Comments:


1 Old Blogspot Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't there something about us getting a special turret design, which made them enormously more expensive than the "off the shelf" turret, for marginally more performance?

3/15/2005 05:14:00 PM  

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