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Thread: RAAF matters 2010 onwards

  1. #981

    A few interesting 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' moments today...

    Looks like RAAF is about to launch integration programs to put JDAM-ER and JASSM onto the Super Hornets...
    In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30

  2. #982

    Enter the Fifth-Generation F-35A Lightning II

    (Source: Royal Australian Air Force; issued March 03, 2017)


    In their first sortie south of the Equator, the RAAF’s first two Lockheed F-35A fighters have flown to the Avalon air show, near Melbourne, where they share the spotlight with the service’s first two Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainers. (AUS DoD photo)

    In an exhilarating day for Australian military air power, the F-35A Lightning II made its public debut at the Australian International Airshow.

    After a journey of about 15,000km Australia’s first two F-35As displayed their power and manoeuvrability in the sky above Avalon Airport before landing in front of an enthused crowd.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne, and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, met the F-35A pilots WGCDR Andrew Jackson and SQNLDR David Bell and their support crew before speaking to the media.

    Mr Turnbull said it was an exciting day for Air Force, Australian industry, technology and Australian jobs.

    “The F-35A is the most advanced fighter in the world,” he said. “We need to ensure our Defence force have the best capabilities and the greatest lethality.”

    The F-35A is a key addition to Australia’s strategic capability and a critical component of the $195 billion defence investment.

    The government is purchasing and will maintain 72 aircraft as part of the global Joint Strike Fighter program which will give Air Force the capability to combat future air threats to the nation.

    Senator Payne said there wasn’t anything like the landing of two F-35As in Australia to make a defence minister’s day.

    “This acquisition has been 15 years in the making and will make a game-changing difference to Air Force capability,” she said.

    “The F-35A will provide the Air Force with the ability to execute air combat missions which were previously beyond our scope.”
    What a momentous occasion for our nation, thank you for sharing it with us @TurnbullMalcolm, @cpyne & @MarisePayne

    First Australian PC-21 Aircraft to Make Appearance at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon

    (Source: Lockheed Martin; issued March 02, 2017)

    AVALON, Australia --- In a presentation that marks a significant milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training Program, today the Lockheed Martin led delivery team welcomed the arrival of the first two of 49 PC-21 aircraft with the Royal Australian Air Force.

    The PC-21 is a key element of the AIR 5428 program and, along with state-of-the-art training simulations and an electronic learning environment, will form part of Australia’s new Pilot Training System; a system designed to train next-generation pilots faster and to a higher standard.

    The occasion was celebrated at a media event hosted by Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies today, in front of two aircraft at the Avalon International Airshow. Also in attendance was the Minister for Defence Personnel, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP and the Hon. Darren Chester MP, Member for Gippsland, highlighting the significance of the program to the Australian Government.

    Amy Gowder, vice president and general manager of Training and Logistics Solutions for Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems business attended the event and presented the Chief of Air Force with a painting of the aircraft.

    “Today’s event marks 14 months since we signed the AIR 5428 contract with the Australian Defence Force, said Gowder. Much progress has been made, not just in the delivery of the aircraft here today, but also we are well prepared to deliver the first flight training device later this year.”

    “We recognise that for the next few decades and beyond every pilot that graduates from this program will be key to delivering the fifth-generation aviation capability of the Navy, Army and Air Force.”

    Lockheed Martin and our industry partners Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific are responsible for delivering the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System. The system will provide improved training capability. This team has been delivering exceptional results in Australia for the Republic of Singapore Air Force pilots at RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia since 2008.

    Delivery of the first AIR 5428 Flight Training Device system is expected in August 2017.

    Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lockheed Martin Australia and its related entities employ more than 800 people in Australia and New Zealand working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence, maritime civil sector.

    Established in 1939, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is the world's leading manufacturer of single-engine turboprop aircraft. Headquartered in Stans, Switzerland, Pilatus is a privately held company employing close to 2000 people. Pilatus provides aircraft and aviation services worldwide for the general aviation, commercial, training, utility, and special mission markets. The company, through Pilatus Australia Pty Ltd, currently supports over 140 Australian based military and civil aircraft.

    Hawker Pacific Pty Ltd was formed in 1978 with its corporate headquarters in Sydney NSW, employs over 400 people across Australia and has significant aviation sales and support capabilities across the Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Hawker Pacific’s Government Business unit is the prime contractor to the ADF delivering the B300 aircraft capability to 32 and 38 Squadrons at RAAF Bases East Sale and Townsville, holding AMO and AEO accreditation. At RAAF Base Pearce, Hawker Pacific has successfully provided maintenance support to the Singapore Air Force PC‑21 aircraft training capability in synergy with Lockheed Martin and Pilatus since 2007.

    -ends-

  3. #983

    That popping sound you distantly heard wasn't the F35s passing trough the sound barrier, it was Kopp and Goon's heads exploding
    Unicorn

    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
    the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

  4. #984

    Quote Originally Posted by Unicorn View Post
    That popping sound you distantly heard wasn't the F35s passing trough the sound barrier, it was Kopp and Goon's heads exploding
    Like...
    In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30

  5. #985

    Avalon 2017: Orbital ATK promotes C-27J palletised ISR

    06th March 2017 - 13:25

    by Gordon Arthur in Melbourne



    Orbital ATK is in discussions with the Royal Australian Air Force about ISR mission pallets that could enhance capabilities.

    The company already supplies roll-on/roll-off modules for the Alenia C-27J aircraft. Australia's 2016 Integrated Investment Program declared it would 'strengthen existing capabilities in intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance' (ISR), and Orbital ATK believes its various palletised modules could help meet this need.

    Australia is interested in an ISR suite rather than weapons, a spokesperson told Shephard. Orbital ATK is currently in discussions with the RAAF's Air Mobility Group and Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG).

    It offers both a basic and enhanced C3-ISR pallet for persistent monitoring, as well as basic and enhanced gunship modules that allow enemy engagement from the air. These are controlled via a three-seat mission management system. Such mission pallets can be rolled on/off a C-27J within an hour.

    An EO/IR turret (e.g. an L-3 Wescam MX-15Di or FLIR Star SAFIRE 380-HD) containing a thermal imager, TV camera, laser rangefinder, laser illuminator and laser designator would give comprehensive ISR capacities.

    The RAAF is obtaining ten C-27J Spartans under Project Air 8000. Two are now being used in Texas for training, while a further two are stationed in Australia. The remaining six aircraft are supposed to be handed over to No 35 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond by year's end.

    Under the project's Phase 2, Spartan training will migrate to Australia in mid-2017. An initial operating capability was announced on 16 December 2016, with full operational capability expected in 2019. The squadron will eventually relocate to RAAF Base Amberley in 2019 once facility construction there is complete.

    Another product being promoted in Australia by Orbital ATK was aircraft self-protection systems. It has already supplied the passive AN/AAR-47 missile warning system used on the Royal Australian Navy's MH-60R Seahawks and RAAF's C-130J aircraft, for example.

    John F Scheiner, vice president of Pacific Rim marketing and sales of Orbital ATK's defence electronic systems, said the company was able to brief the Australian military on the future direction of its self-protection systems, including its Multi-Threat Warning System (MTWS).

    The MTWS is an 'integrated sensor solution for the detection of MANPADS, RPGs, small/large-calibre bullets and laser-guided threats'. An A-kit is compatible with the AN/AAR-47, the advantage being that, as a plug-and-play system, a helicopter's wiring does not need to be altered.

    Orbital ATK also makes the medium-range Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM), which follows on from the AGM-88 HARM. The AARGM is an anti-radiation missile designed to suppress hostile air defences.

    The AARGM (its US nomenclature is AGM-88E) will be used on the RAAF's EA-18G Growler aircraft, with Australia being the first foreign customer for the weapon. A probable US Foreign Military Sale of 16 AAGMs and eight CATM-88E captive training missiles was announced in June 2015.

  6. #986

    Industry Collaboration to Strengthen Australia's Air Defence System

    (Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued March 15, 2017)

    Minister for Defence Industry, the Honourable Christopher Pyne MP, has announced a collaboration agreement between the Defence Science and Technology Group and Grollo Aerospace to provide Defence with an enhanced capability for evaluating Australia’s air defence systems.

    Minister Pyne said this collaboration would give Defence a cost-effective means to test the performance of modern weapon systems targeted at Australian Defence Force aircraft.

    “This partnership will improve the performance of Grollo’s autonomous supersonic aerial target, Evader, which replicates the flight characteristics of advanced airborne threats,” he said.

    “The key objective is to enhance this autonomous air vehicle technology and maximise its utility for Defence applications.”

    Minister Pyne said the Government was firmly committed to technology collaboration between Defence and industry to enhance ADF capability.

    “We’re keen that Australian companies, especially small and medium enterprises, have every opportunity to collaborate with Defence on meeting future capability needs,” he said.

    The collaboration agreement was signed by the Chief Defence Scientist, Dr Alex Zelinsky and Mr Mark Grollo, Managing Director and Chief Engineer of Grollo Aerospace at the Australian International Air Show at Avalon.

    Grollo Aerospace is working towards a demonstration of the Evader target system in 2018.

    “This collaboration will address the world-wide demand for an affordable means of evaluating the performance of weapons systems against modern threats,” Minister Pyne said.

    -ends-

  7. #987

    MQ-9, Heron TP Vie For RAAF Armed-UAV Program

    Mar 20, 2017

    Bradley Perrett | Aviation Week & Space Technology

    More than two years ago, Australia sent personnel to the U.S. to learn how to operate the MQ-9 Reaper. That seemed to be an indicator that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was leaning toward the General Atomics type for its armed drone program.
    The MQ-9, however,* now has competition for the program—Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is proposing its Heron TP.

    Whichever type is chosen, it will be another element in the steady expansion of the RAAF, adding surveillance capacity and relieving fighter units of some ground-attack tasks.

    Australia’s Armed UAV Program
    • Focused on ISR capabilities
    • UAV acquisition could lead to an additional squadron being formed
    • Contemplated missions would be part of expeditionary operations


    The project, Air 7003, has an acquisition budget of A$1-2 billion ($800 million-1.5 billion), to be spent in 2018-38. The number of aircraft to be bought is unstated, but the contemplated spending would easily pay for more than 10 units, plus training and ground equipment, even allowing for the peculiar generosity of Australian acquisition budgeting. The prolongation of spending into the late 2030s presumably allows for upgrades.

    [I'd term it more as wildly inaccurate budgeting..................]

    IAI is talking to five or six companies in Australia, and in some cases to their U.S. headquarters, about cooperation on the program, says Shaul Shahar, general manager of IAI’s military aircraft group. The Heron TP is descended from the much smaller Heron type that Australia has already operated, somewhat balancing RAAF’s newfound familiarity with the MQ-9.

    Although Australia wants an armed aircraft, much of the official discussion of the program focuses on the utility of the acquired type in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Contemplated missions would be part of expeditionary operations; Canberra does not seem to think propeller-driven unmanned aircraft will have a large role for the defense of Australia. This is underscored by the categorization of Air 7003 in the defense department’s acquisition planning: It is grouped with land and amphibious combat capabilities, not strike and air combat.


    IAI is offering the Heron TP for Australia’s armed-drone requirement. Credit: Israel Aerospace Industries

    Still, by acquiring these weapon-toting unmanned aircraft, the RAAF will expand by probably one squadron. And the fighter and strike squadrons will be relieved of some of the burden of ground attack against unsophisticated enemies, exemplified by current operations in Syria. Australia has repeatedly announced plans for incremental expansion of its air force over the past decade.

    IAI assumes that the customer will eventually want to upgrade the Heron TP, although the company would normally supply its aircraft with a complete set of sensors and communications gear. Shahar emphasizes that IAI would share the know-how that Australia would need to integrate new systems without involvement or even knowledge of the Israeli company.

    The MQ-9 can also be independently modified, says Kenneth Loving of General Atomics. He notes that the MQ-9 version best suited to Australia may be the one under development for Britain, the Certifiable Predator B, which is intended to be much easier to operate in civil airspace.

    After decades of waning interest in manufacturing its own military equipment, Australia is now keen to spend its defense budget locally. For both types of unmanned aircraft, upgrades offer potential for doing so. General Atomics also proposes that the MQ-9 could use a compact Australian flight-data recorder, replacing the bulky equipment currently used in the aircraft. The U.S. company has teamed with Cobham, among other Australian partners, for the program.

    IAI declines to directly confirm that it would supply the Heron TP as an armed aircraft; instead, it merely notes that it can meet the Australian requirement. The MQ-9 can carry guided bombs and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.*

    The Heron TP and MQ-9 are nearly equal in size. The Israeli aircraft has a gross weight of 5.4 metric tons (11,900 lb.); the U.S. type is 5.3 metric tons. Each has a ceiling of 45,000 ft. IAI emphasizes that the Heron TP has great volume for systems, which can be doubled with the addition of a pannier. The two companies discussed their proposals for Air 7003 at the recent Australian International Airshow at Avalon, Geelong.

    Separately, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is seeking an undisclosed number of unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for operation from the planned force of 12 destroyers and frigates and a class of 12 patrol ships. The aircraft will be brought into service progressively by the mid-2020s, serving alongside, and sharing hangar space with, Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks. The timing of an order has not been released.

    An obvious candidate is the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout, which the U.S. Navy is preparing to bring into service. The aircraft is based on the Bell 407 helicopter. “It has to be a pretty credible contender,” says analyst Andrew Davies of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “It is obviously quite capable.”

    But an MQ-8C will not fit in the hangar of an RAN Anzac-class frigate if a Seahawk is also embarked, says the institute’s James Mugg. Accordingly, a smaller, fixed-wing type should appeal to the RAN—for example, the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle. Such small unmanned airplanes are recovered at sea by flying them into nets.*

  8. #988

    Well noted Mr Mugg. I also note that the ANZAC class will not be in service with the RAN indefinitely and the first one will retire as the first Future Frigate comes online... Nevertheless obviously we should only invest in a UAV that can operate alongside a Seahawk in a single hangar, with all the capability limitations that entails...

    They identify based on zero evidence that our armed UAV capability is intended for expeditionary operates and then advocate the Heron TP which is flown by precisely NONE of the allies we go on expeditionary operations? What?

    Then there is the fact that this is the RAAF purchasing this aircraft. When have they shown a recent inclination to do anything other than remain completely in lockstep with the USAF?

    Now, if it were Army, the Heron TP would probably be a red hot favourite, it's operating system run on Windows 3.1 and probably specify it be completely incompatible network-wise with every other system in the universe and equipped with a weapon that went out of production yesterday...
    In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30

  9. #989

    Now, if it were Army, the Heron TP would probably be a red hot favourite, it's operating system run on Windows 3.1 and probably specify it be completely incompatible network-wise with every other system in the universe and equipped with a weapon that went out of production yesterday...
    A tad extreme, y'all know it would be strictly compatible with SAP................of course, it would still be incompatible with everything else, but you'd spend $345 million finding out, and another $50 million per annum to maintain the farce............

  10. #990

    Quote Originally Posted by buglerbilly View Post
    A tad extreme, y'all know it would be strictly compatible with SAP................of course, it would still be incompatible with everything else, but you'd spend $345 million finding out, and another $50 million per annum to maintain the farce............
    Aww! Fine then! It can have Windows 95 and be incompatible network-wise with the rest of ADF only! But it WILL have an electro-optical targetting system that requires the platform to fly straight into the NEZ of threat systems, should it wish to actually self-designate it's own weapons, okay?
    In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30

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