Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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spazsinbad

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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 17:48

INTERVIEW: Air Commander Australia Steve Roberton [LONG article best read at source - 3 page PDF below]
26 Feb 2019 Greg Waldron

"In December 2018, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) truly entered the era of the Lockheed Martin F-35, with the arrival of its first two examples. After a long flight across the Pacific from Luke AFB in Arizona, the pair of jets (A35-009 and A35-010) were welcomed by Boeing F/A-18A/B "classic" Hornets, the venerable fighter they will replace.

The moment was a long time coming: RAAF pilots and support crews have been training at the Luke AFB F-35 school since 2015, with the service's first F-35A delivered in 2014. Ultimately, Canberra could obtain up to 100, making it one of the largest international operators of the type.

Air Vice Marshal Steve Roberton, Air Commander Australia, says the F-35A is part of the RAAF's continuing advance into what he refers to as a "fifth-generation air force" in an interview with FlightGlobal. It is a well-oiled machine that works seamlessly together.

Roberton has served with the RAAF since 1989 and has over 3,000h in the cockpit, mostly in F/A-18As but also in the F/A-18F Super Hornet. "We are in a fairly privileged position of being one of the first all fifth-generation forces in the world," he says. "In terms of platforms, we're well on track."...

...Original plans for the Super Hornets called for their retirement in the 2020s, but there is speculation that Canberra may opt to keep the type, possibly upgrading them to the USN's Block III standard. This activity includes a range of structural and sensor upgrades, as well as the ability to receive and transfer large amounts of sensor data with other aircraft.

On the long-term prospects for the RAAF's Super Hornets, Roberton says in the "next few years" a proposal will be made to the government about the air force's future asset mix.

"Having tied ourselves in with the US Navy and their plans and upgrades, and what's more the US Navy's integration of Super Hornet, Growler, and their own F-35 variant, I believe there are more options for extending the life [of the Super Hornet]. But these are matters for the Australian government, and part of this planning will be put forward to the government to consider."...

..."Australia is expeditionary by nature being where we are on the globe, especially given the distances just to get up and work with our allies in the near region or in the Middle East. The KC-30A has been an absolute fundamental enabler for us."

Looking forward, he feels that there are several emergent technologies that will impact the air forces, namely the deployment and increased capabilities of large unmanned air vehicles. Of import will be the mix of manned and unmanned assets, and how these elements work together. "There are rapidly developing technologies in that area around the world. It's safe to say the air force in 2029 is not going to look exactly like it does in 2019.""

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-455460/
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RAAF F-35 5thGen Flight International 26.02.2019 pp3.pdf
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Unread post27 Feb 2019, 00:32

F-35A in Australia along with the Super Hornet etc. are candidates for this effort.
PICTURE: Boeing unveils new loyal wingman drone in Australia
26 Feb 2019 Garrett Reim

"Boeing Australia unveiled at the Avalon air show in Victoria, Australia a mock-up of a new unmanned air vehicle called the Airpower Teaming System, designed to fly as a loyal wingman alongside fourth- and fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

Similar to the US Air Force Laboratory Loyal Wingman concept, Boeing says it is co-developing the drone with the Government of Australia, but has designed the drone not to any specific military requirement. Boeing and Australia will produce a concept demonstrator called the Loyal Wingman - Advanced Development Programme that is intended to provide key learnings toward production of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System....

...With the Airpower Teaming System, Boeing joins Kratos Defense & Security Solutions in a rapidly-forming market for drones capable of teaming with fast-moving manned aircraft such as fighters like the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet or Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The vision: dozens of cheap and expendable UAVs flying and fighting alongside expensive manned aircraft – a new air force structure intended to greatly expand the lethality of the USA and allies...."

LOT MORE AT THE JUMP....

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -a-456123/
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Unread post27 Feb 2019, 00:37

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"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post27 Feb 2019, 04:49

There’s your AIR-6000 Phase 3 solution...

Edit: Sorry Spaz - Phase 2C. I know such detail is the most important thing here...
Last edited by Conan on 27 Feb 2019, 10:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post27 Feb 2019, 07:50

AIR 6000 Phase 3 Weapons for New Air Combat Capability Aerospace Air Combat [page 59]
AIR 6000 Phase 3 Weapons for New Air Combat Capability [DEFENCE CAPABILITY PLAN PUBLIC VERSION 2012]
Scope

"AIR 6000 Phase 3 will acquire the new weapons - except for air-to-air missiles and dedicated maritime strike weapons - needed to ensure that the JSF can conduct its designated roles on operations.

This phase will acquire the JSF’s initial principal strike weapon, the Small Diameter Bomb, which will be new to the ADF and will be the major new capability acquired in Phase 3. This phase will also acquire 25mm ammunition for the JSF’s gun, and any dispensable countermeasures required.

Phase 3 will provide the reserve stockholding of those weapons, ammunition and countermeasures selected for the JSF. AIR
6000 Phase 2A/2B will certify all Explosive Ordnance for the JSF.

IMR will occur upon the completion and release of the supplies which are required to support the achievement of the IOC.
IOC will be defined later in the project development process.

The expected LOT of these weapons is 20 years.

FOC will occur when the full scope of the project, including the mission, support and training systems and facilities has been delivered and accepted into operational service.

Planned Schedule
First Pass Approval FY 2014-15 to FY 2016-17
Year-of-Decision FY 2016-17 to FY 2018-19
Initial Materiel Release FY 2019-20 to FY 2020-21
Initial Operational Capability FY 2019-20 to FY 2021-22"

Source: http://www.defence.gov.au/publications/ ... an2012.pdf (2.66Mb)
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Unread post11 Mar 2019, 10:19

Only details that matter to me matter to me & being only a headline reader this is damn good headline (MAX Headroom).
Australian F-35 Operations: So Far, So Good
05 Mar 2019 Bradley Perrett

"It is still early times, but operational introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning in Australia is going more smoothly than expected, with the head of the air combat force seeing few of the problems he anticipated. In particular, logistics and use of the mission planning system by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have proven relatively free of difficulties, despite operators’ unfamiliarity with them. The commander has also described what seems to be a considerable …" [no sub]

Source: https://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraf ... ar-so-good
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Unread post13 Mar 2019, 11:05

spazsinbad wrote:Only details that matter to me matter to me & being only a headline reader this is damn good headline (MAX Headroom).
Australian F-35 Operations: So Far, So Good
05 Mar 2019 Bradley Perrett

"It is still early times, but operational introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning in Australia is going more smoothly than expected, with the head of the air combat force seeing few of the problems he anticipated. In particular, logistics and use of the mission planning system by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have proven relatively free of difficulties, despite operators’ unfamiliarity with them. The commander has also described what seems to be a considerable …" [no sub]

Source: https://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraf ... ar-so-good

I found the Full Text, so I post it.
F-35 - Rapport fra Down Under - AW&ST
Australian F-35 Operations: So Far, So Good
Bradley Perrett
It is still early times, but operational introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning in Australia is going more smoothly than expected, with the head of the air combat force seeing few of the problems he anticipated. In particular, logistics and use of the mission planning system by the Royal Australian Air Force(RAAF) have proven relatively free of difficulties, despite operators’ unfamiliarity with them.
The commander has also described what seems to be a considerable capacity for F-35 electronic attack, exploited in a January exercise with the U.S. and Britain. Meanwhile, the RAAF and Royal Air Force are building up a capability independent of the U.S. to feed their Lightnings with data on enemy systems.

Australia now has 10 F-35As: eight at the U.S. Luke AFB, Arizona, and two at RAAF Williamtown, the main Australian fighter base, at Newcastle on the east coast, where they arrived last December. Two more F-35As will arrive at Williamtown in early April and a further four by year-end, making a total of eight in the country, the commander of the combat air group, Air Commo. Michael Kitcher, said at the Australian International Airshow, held at Avalon, Geelong, Feb. 26-March 3. Australia will also add two F-35As to its aircraft at Luke around the middle of 2019. The RAAF’s first F-35s, used at Luke, were received in 2014.
The country’s planned force of 72 F-35As are replacing F/A-18A/B Hornets, the airframe lives of which are mostly close to exhaustion, though some are being sold to Canada.
Kitcher reiterated the plan to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) at the end of 2020, when a training squadron, Williamtown’s 2 Sqdn. Operational Conversion Unit, and the frontline 3 Sqdn. will be equipped with the type. A third unit at Williamtown, 77 Sqdn., will convert to the F-35A in 2021 and the final unit, 75 Sqdn., flying from RAAF Tindal in northern Australia, will receive its aircraft in 2022. Final operational capability is due in 2023.
Among “things that did not—or have not yet—really gone wrong would be spares supply,” Kitcher says, noting that Australia was far from the sources of parts. That problem “has not materialized; it has actually worked pretty well.”

The RAAF’s technical workforce has impressively mastered the new fighter’s Autonomous Logistics Information System, an unfamiliar feature that Kitcher expected would present challenges. Similarly, the F-35A comes with a complex mission-planning system, but “so far, we’ve been getting that right without too many issues,” he says.
The fighter has also turned out to be a little less noisy than predicted. Residents near Williamtown have complained about F-35 noise; however, they do so even on days when neither of the two aircraft have been flown.
The head of Australia’s F-35A acquisition program, Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon, emphasizes that “IOC is not in the bag.” Kitcher says his biggest concern is training people to operate the aircraft.
Australia and Britain are jointly operating a laboratory to create mission data sets—information to be loaded into the fighter about such things as enemy radars and weapons. By doing this independently of the U.S., the two countries have greater control over the combat capability of the aircraft. The first such data set has been delivered from the laboratory, which is at U.S. Eglin AFB, Florida. The facility will accelerate the process when physical and software tools from Lockheed Martin are delivered this year.
Kitcher recounts his experience as a Hornet pilot in a recent Red Flag exercise involving only U.S., British and Australian forces; this was apparently the exercise held in January. Kitcher says he “watched eight F-35s kick open a door that was a very hard door to open against a fairly determined adversary”—the door being air defenses of the opposing side. “Some F-22s came in after that to hold the door open. The F-35s went back and picked up a strike train that consisted of . . . Hornets from 77 Sqdn., Super Hornets from the U.S. Navy, Typhoons from the Royal Air Force and F-16s, and they were supported by Growlers from the U.S. Navy and F-16 SEAD [suppression of enemy air defenses] aircraft from the U.S. Navy as well,” he says.
“And the F-35s took that strike train way down into bad land, through some significant air defenses,” he continues. “Everybody dropped their bombs and got out safely. And while that was going on, there were Growlers providing [SEAD, along with] F-16s doing the same thing. And once the F-35s had dropped their bombs, they were actually doing SEAD as well.”
The F-35s had worked with the other aircraft to solve a very difficult problem, Kitcher says, adding that he expected Australia to be achieving similar results at home with its Lightnings, Growlers and Super Hornets within two years.
—With Steve Trimble in Washington
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Unread post13 Mar 2019, 11:18

Thanks for this 'doge'. I like this (commo is Oz slang for communist):
"...commander of the combat air group, Air Commo. Michael Kitcher…" I guess Commodore is meant - look it up PERRETT.
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Unread post19 Mar 2019, 19:50

F-35 multilateral conference sets stage for operational integration in Indo-Pacific
18 Mar 2019 Staff Sgt. Hailey Haux, Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

"JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- F-35 Lightning II subject matter experts from the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea met to improve 4th and 5th generation aircraft theater interoperability during the second Pacific F-35 User Group Conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, March 12 -14. More than 80 personnel from the four nations discussed bed down and strategic concepts, operations, logistics and sustainment topics, all building on the success of the March 2017 F-35 Symposium.

“This conference provides a great opportunity to work with our allies to strengthen our interoperability with 5th and 4th generation aircraft as these airframes start to become more prominent in the region,” said Gen. CQ Brown Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander. “Improving interoperability between our forces and helping allies increase their capabilities works to deter aggression, maintain stability and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

This year’s theme “operational integration in the Indo-Pacific” focused on security, interoperability, training, simulators and logistics information systems…."

As the presence of the F-35 increases in the Indo-Pacific, future multilateral exercises will enhance 5th generation aircraft interoperability and integration, as well as agile command and control across the full spectrum of combined warfighter operations. “It’s how we take advantage of all the capabilities we have in the region,” Brown said. “The F-35 will bring a full spectrum of capabilities to us and will be a critical part of joint and coalition efforts.”..."

Photo: “Royal Australian Air Force Air Commodore Darren Boldie, Director General Air Combat Capability, flies in an F-35 Lightning II simulator during the Pacific F-35 Users Group Conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, March 12, 2019. F-35 subject matter experts from the United States, Australia, Japan and the South Korea met to increase 4th and 5th generation aircraft theater interoperability. More than 80 personnel from the four nations discussed bed down and strategic concepts, operations, logistics and sustainment topics, all building on the success of the March 2017 F-35 Symposium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles)” https://media.defense.gov/2019/Mar/15/2 ... 3-1001.JPG (6.1Mb)


Source: https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... -indo-pac/
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 14:42

spazsinbad wrote:Thanks for this 'doge'. I like this (commo is Oz slang for communist):
"...commander of the combat air group, Air Commo. Michael Kitcher…" I guess Commodore is meant - look it up PERRETT.


I thought Commo was short for Commodore aka the Holden Commodore?
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 14:48

Never heard that about Holden however you may be too young to know about the 'commo menace' in the 1950s or so....
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Unread post08 Apr 2019, 11:15

RAAF welcomes next fifth-generation fighters
08 Apr 2019 Stephen Kuper

"Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne and Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds have officially announced the arrival of Australia’s next two F-35A fighter aircraft....

…"I’m pleased to welcome our newest F-35As, A35-011 and A35-012, bringing the total number of aircraft in Australia to four," Minister Pyne said. "After completing various validation and verification activities in the United States, these aircraft have now arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown and will be assigned to Number 3 Squadron."...

...Australia will take delivery of eight F-35A aircraft in 2019 and, over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft as part of the $17 billion AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program..."

Source: https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strik ... n-fighters
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Unread post10 Apr 2019, 13:23

As per the PHASE 3 WeaPonys above here is a development: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=412572&hilit=PHASE#p412572
Australia to buy weapons and decoys for F-35As and Super Hornets for use in ‘densely contested’ environments
08 Apr 2019 Julian Kerr

"Australia will acquire a range of weapons and countermeasures costing AUD110 million (USD78 million) for use in “densely contested” environments by its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet multirole fighters, Defence Minister Christopher Pyne disclosed on 6 April.

Pyne said the investment – under Project Air 6000 Phase 3 – is designed to ensure that weapons and decoys are available as Australia’s air combat fleet transitions from the Boeing FA-18A/B ‘classic’ Hornet multirole fighter to the Joint Strike Fighter and the Super Hornet. “A range of complementary weapons and countermeasures will be acquired to provide comprehensive options for use in densely contested environments,” Pyne said in the statement.

Weapon components will be supplied by Thales Australia and countermeasures by Chemring Australia, the statement added, but gave no further information...."

Source: https://www.janes.com/article/87734/aus ... vironments
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Unread post07 May 2019, 10:58

Ouch, cue the basement dwellers squeals of delight :bang:


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-07/ ... ok_Organic
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Unread post07 May 2019, 11:59

"The risk is posed by salt and other climatic conditions."
USN/USMC had better keep them off of the flat tops then. :doh:

Too lazy to look it up, I recall there was an issue with sealants or something fitting the panels/parts that were subject to corrosion. Which is resolved in lot XX
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