Goff: Defence Force to get enhanced night vision
8 October, 2008
Goff: Defence Force to get enhanced night vision capability
The Government has approved funding for a new enhanced night vision capability for the Defence Force, Defence Minister Phil Goff said today.
"It is important that we continue to provide our Defence Force personnel with effective and up to date equipment and technology to reduce risk while they are deployed overseas in countries such as Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands," Phil Goff said.
"This funding of $15 million over the next two financial years will allow the Defence Force to replace worn out equipment and increase available stocks. The project will deliver 781 sets of night vision goggles, 172 night aiming devices, and 150 individual weapon sights. They will replace night vision equipment that was purchased during the late 1990s and which is fast becoming obsolete.
"The new equipment will allow more effective surveillance, patrolling, low-level flying, naval boarding operations, and operating vehicles.
"Improving the Defence Force's night vision capability will positively impact on the success of current and future operations. It will increase the effectiveness of the New Zealand Defence Force operating at night, while reducing the risk to our soldiers, sailors and air men and women.
"Cabinet has also agreed to the New Zealand Defence Force developing a sustainable night vision capability through the initiation of a rolling investment from 2010/11 onward," Phil Goff said.
"This is estimated to cost between $6.7 million and $10.4 million per year in capital costs and $270,000 to $3.6 million per year in operating costs as stocks of equipment rise over time.
"By adopting an incremental investment approach the NZDF will avoid block obsolescence, keep pace with new technology, and improve levels of preparedness through sufficient training and reserve stocks," Phil Goff said.
"This project is the latest in a long line of projects to be approved by the Government as part of its planned reinvestment, realignment and rebuilding of the New Zealand Defence Force.
"Labour has committed more than $8 billion in capital and operating expenditure above baselines over a 10-year timeframe to rebuild the New Zealand Defence Force," Phil Goff said.