I remember back in the early 2000's when all the RNZAF bases were covered in pictures of 'soon to be purchased' F-16's with RNZAF roundels and kiwi's CGI/photo shopped on only to be canned. At least this buy should go through.
Transponders and alternate communications most likely answer. Even when we had the A-4's there was only ever 20 odd in service and less on line within NZ. With little to no threat they were never really held at the level of readiness to respond in time to have any effect. No doubt there is some agreements with Australia that include airspace assistance/support.
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