Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Australia to spend A$4 billion on drones to keep borders and sea-lanes under watchful eyes. Should NZ join them?

I think the proposal to spend the 4 billion on drones to keep the vast reaches of ocean under intense scrutiny is a damned good idea; maybe cheaper than using other forms of hit and miss methods. There is no doubt that Australia will come under increasing pressure from a range of sources, be it people smugglers or other more sinister threats.
Should New Zealand do the same? I say---yes, but in a much more modest manner; perhaps smaller version and not quite so many(The Aussies want 7 of these advanced techno toys). If you look at the huge area NZ has a vested and legal responsibly for and then measure that against the available resources, there is a huge gap in our capabilities. Our Orions are stretched to day the least. Maybe NZ can operate smaller home-grown version, building NZ's technical skill base and extending the effectiveness of our maritime surveillance. I am not confining the drones to 'defence of our border sand resources, but also thinking of the search and rescue angle, that NZ must maintain, both for our own people and those who sail, work and travel through our nearby and far-flung ocean. We are watching you closely, my Aussie friends.

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