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Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 17:48
by spazsinbad
U.S. and Australia expand Next Gen Jammer cooperative partnership
14 Jul 2020 NavAirSysCom

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The. U.S. Department of Defense and Australian Department of Defence officially expanded their Next Generation Jammer cooperative partnership to increase joint capabilities in the future on July 13. The two countries signed a Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) Project Arrangement (PA) to ensure commonality on future jamming variants. The jointly managed cooperative partnership gives both countries more benefits to include shared costs and risks....

...“This expanded partnership with Australia to develop the newest Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) jamming capability shows the level of commitment of both countries to ensure continued superiority of the electromagnetic spectrum,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Orr, AEA Systems program manager (PMA-234), who oversees all NGJ programs. “The NGJ-LB PA allows for joint sharing of the best technologies in the world, furthering the AEA capabilities of both the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).”...

...The program will enter the next phase of acquisition when the Capability Block 1 contract is awarded fall 2020. NGJ-LB will utilize the latest digital and software-based technologies that will address advanced and emerging threats in the lower frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Additionally, the two countries signed a second memorandum of agreement in May to enter production, sustainment and follow-on development of the AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) and follow-on variants. “Having a cooperative sustainment strategy will increase military effectiveness at home and abroad, strengthen technology capabilities, and reduce a duplication of effort across nations,” said Orr...."

Source: ... 42020-0812

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2020, 22:56
by spazsinbad
Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band pod takes first flight on Growler
10 Aug 2020 Kristine Wilcox, PMA-234 communications NavAirSysCom

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) successfully completed its first mission systems flight with an EA-18G Growler at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Aug. 7.... The first flight, conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, is a Safety of Flight (SOF) checkout that ensures the pods can be safely flown on the EA-18G aircraft for follow-on test flights. “There was a lot of discussion on how the NGJ-MB pod would affect how the Growler handles and it was exciting to have the jet feel like any other flight,” said Lt. Jonathan Williams, VX-23 test pilot...."

Photo: "Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) flies for the first time on an EA-18G Growler, Aug. 7, over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The NGJ-MB capability, forward pod located under the right wing of the aircraft, is a jamming technology that provides enhanced airborne electronic attack capabilities to the EA-18G Growler platform (U.S. Navy photo by Erik Hildebrandt)" ... k=PYMaX8hz

Source: ... 02020-1619

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2020, 13:24
by spazsinbad
I'm wondering what the upgrade entails & does it include MADL (for the thrill innit)? Anyway I'll have to find more info eh.
From 2014 Enhanced A330 Tanker/transport: ... /transport
From 2016: ... -june-2016 (PDF 2.6Mb)
Airbus selected for Communications and Mission System upgrade on the Royal Australian Air Force MRTT fleet
12 Oct 2020 AIRbus PR

"Airbus has been selected by the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) to develop a Communications and Mission System modernization upgrade for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) fleet.

The scope of work, which will meet the Air Force interoperability needs under their new operational requirements, will mainly cover a retrofit package, which includes new and additional Communications Capabilities and Enhanced Mission Systems, bringing it up to the latest enhanced A330 MRTT standard.

Split across two contracts, Phase 1 will see Airbus carry out the design and systems development and integration ahead of the Critical Design Review maturity gate. Phase 2 will see Airbus install and deliver a prototype KC-30 aircraft (the name used by the RAAF to the A330 MRTT) for use in the certification and qualification process, ahead of finalizing and supplying the modification kits for entire fleet. Subsequent retrofit to the remainder of the fleet will be under customer responsibility.

In addition, Airbus will provide the necessary data packs and support to ensure this upgrade features in the existing RAAF A330 MRTT Full Flight Simulator (FFS), the Integrated Procedures Trainer (IPT) and the Remote Air Refuelling Operator (RARO) Console Part Task trainer (PTT).

The objective of the upgrade is to provide an affordable solution which brings the RAAF KC-30A fleet up to Airbus’ world class quality and capability standards and meets the latest interoperability requirements for the Australian Defence Force and its allies...."

GRAPHIC: ... &qlt=100,0

Source: ... fleet.html

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 15 Oct 2020, 16:01
by spazsinbad
Australia’s 30th F-35 arrives before IOC
Nov 2020 AFM

"THE ROYAL Australian Air Force (RAAF) accepted delivery of its 30th Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II in September, and the type is expected to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) this December.

RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, is home to the F-35A’s No 3 squadron and the No 2 Operational Conversion Unit. The RAAF is converting from a fleet of McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Hornets to the Lightning II. Williamtown has an F-35 simulator for the base’s Integrated Training Centre. In the 2016 Australian government defence white paper, it was stated that the RAAF would receive 72 F-35A aircraft by 2023 to meet the planned final operating capability deadline, three years after the expected IOC....

...Pre-acceptance testing of each example involves multiple checks on the production line at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Texas and several flight tests from the same site. [F-35A air vehicle lead Squadron Leader Brook] Porter said that an in-depth acceptance process ensured that each F-35A was ready for Australian defence registration and operational use...."

Source: Air Forces Monthly Magazine November 2020 Issue 392

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2020, 21:07
by spazsinbad
Joint training makes Australia’s F-35 mission fully operational
17 Oct 2020 Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

"...The Royal Australian Air Force returned a majority of its F-35A Lightning II pilots, maintainers and aircraft to RAAF Base Williamtown, Australia, in December 2019, but still maintains a joint pilot-training and maintenance presence here. RAAF Maj. [wears what looks like Squadron Leader STRIPES to me in photo below] Christopher Baker, 61st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot and graduate of the F-35A pilot training program at Luke AFB, attests to the importance of the training partnership between the U.S. Air Force and the RAAF. He explained it is extremely rewarding to reinvest and train both nationalities in the same aircraft with the same tactics....

...“I am continually amazed at how the students learn so quickly,” Baker said. “They come in the door knowing very little or nothing about the F-35 and four or five months later, they're flying high-end large force-employment exercise missions with multiple aircraft involved in a dense surface-to-air missile threat scenario.”

The chances of the RAAF and the U.S. Air Force working together in a deployed environment is very likely according to Baker. “Most of the Australian pilots that have come through here at Luke (AFB) have worked with the U.S. Air Force before in the Middle East,” Baker said. “I don't think you'd meet many RAAF or U.S. Air Force pilots that haven't interacted with each other before in some capacity, either operationally or in an exercise somewhere.”

The RAAF and U.S. Air Force student pilots complete the same nine-month undergraduate training course where pilots learn how to operate and employ the F-35. Australian and U.S. instructor pilots lead the training during courses, said [U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Hayes, 61st FS commander]....

...Baker explained that the RAAF established one operational and one training F-35A squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown and plans to establish another operational squadron in January 2021. As of October 2020, five RAAF F-35s are assigned to the 61st FS. The first F-35 was delivered to RAAF Base Williamtown in 2018 and the 30th F-35 is scheduled to return to Australia by December 2020. Seventy-two F-35s are ordered and the last one is projected to be delivered to Australia by 2024.

Baker said the RAAF is aiming to declare Initial Operational Capability – when a capability achieves its minimum threshold to support operations – by December 2020, ahead of the timeline. The RAAF’s first B-course for student pilot training is scheduled to launch in January 2021 and will be taught by instructor pilots who trained at Luke AFB.

In 2019, 34 fighter pilots were assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron and 17 were RAAF pilots. As of October 2020, there are five RAAF instructor pilots, seven student pilots and two maintainers who continue to execute the joint training partnership mission. Hayes says that Luke AFB will continue to maintain an alliance with the RAAF in the future through exchange programs...."

Photo: "Royal Australian Air Force Maj. Christopher Baker, 61st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Hayes, 61st FS commander, pose for a photo Sept. 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The U.S. Air Force has been strengthening alliances and partnerships by training F-35A Lightning II fighter pilots alongside the RAAF since 2014. All RAAF personnel are scheduled to return to RAAF Base Williamtown, Australia, by December 2020. The first B-course for the student pilots at RAAF Base Williamtown is projected to launch in January 2021 and will be taught by instructor pilots that trained at Luke AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)" ... 1-1004.JPG (2.75Mb)

Source: ... erational/

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2020, 20:32
by spazsinbad
RAAF Builds Out New Facilities to Support F-35 Force
04 Nov 2020 SLDinfo

"RAAF Base Williamtown is home to the tactical fighter element of the Air Combat Group and the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) element of Surveillance and Response Group.

RAAF Base Williamtown is at the centre of a multimillion-dollar infrastructure modernisation and upgrade program in order to better support the arrival of the RAAF’s fleet of F-35A Joint Strike Fighters and other force multiplying capabilities, like the E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning, Command & Control aircraft.

Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 1 is worth $149 million, while the Aircraft Clear Water Rinse Facility is worth $3 million.

The Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 2 (2014 – 2019) is worth $219 million, which is supported by the New Air Combat Capability Works worth $679 million and a Runway Extension worth $200 million...." [is R/W paved with GOLD?!]

[More info on R/W extension than just increasing length: ... /?cs=14732 ]

Source: ... -35-force/

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2020, 22:52
by zhangmdev
RAAF Base Williamtown was established in 1941 in the local government area of Port Stephens. The base serves as the headquarters to both the Air Combat Group and the Surveillance and Response Group of the RAAF. The military base shares its runway facilities with Newcastle Airport. To accommodate the new F-35A Lightning Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft, the runway required extension by 610m to 3,048m (10,000ft). ... -extension

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2020, 23:07
by spazsinbad
The runway extension has been mentioned earlier in this thread and it is about 2,000 feet to about 10,000 feet overall. However this extra 'EXTENSION' does not cost the amount of dollars quoted in article from SLDinfo - there is more to it.

Good photo at the 'zhangmdev' link immediately above: ... %20pic.jpg

Here is one link: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=431267&hilit=runway#p431267
"Sixty-five million dollars is the asking price to upgrade Newcastle Airport's runway to a standard required for international aviation. It's an investment that would create 4500 jobs and generate an estimated $12.7 billion in economic benefits through international airfreight, industrial expansion and increased tourism traffic over the next two decades. But the clock is ticking on efforts to secure a benefactor for the project, which must coincide with Department of Defence plans to spend at least $120 million on maintenance and remediation works at the neighbouring RAAF base next year.

If the moment is not seized it is estimated the cost of upgrading the runway to international standard (Code E) as a standalone project would be $200 million. 23 Jul 2020 ... sive-case/

The 'future projects' article mentions $65 million with RAAF HELP for Civilian UPgrades or $200 million otherwise. Sure it is confusing but FOR SURE just extending the runway by 2,000 feet approx. does not cost $200 million Oz Denyro

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2020, 23:40
by zhangmdev
Surely all those lawyers and bureaucrats playing with regulatory paperworks costs a lot of money.

Re: Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2020, 09:56
by aussiebloke
The Williamtown runway extension appears to be complete:
Works began on the runway in May 2015 to extend it from its current 2,438m to 3,048m in total, with the southeast runway being extended 340 metres, construction of a new taxiway, aircraft safety point and approach lighting...... The final aspect of the full runway extension involves extending the northwest runway with works ongoing and expected to be finished in mid 2017. ... pens-16316

There are additional runway works that need to be completed including the option of upgrading (but presumably not lengthening) the runway to Code E to accomodate commercial wide body jets. The details of this additional work can be read here: ... Mode=False

The $200 million cost estimate probably includes expansion of the airport terminal. See page 4 of this document: ... HAMBER.pdf