Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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element1loop

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Unread post27 Aug 2022, 08:22

F-35A + AETP + EFT from Manus Island FARP, with typical KC-30A AAR support, will be able to escort a 5,000 km B-21 strike, originating from RAAF Sherger, over the Owen Stanley's, to PRC mainland near-coast launch of JASSM-XRs.

It remains to be seen if a J-20 is anything, so I don't see why we'd need NGAD (as yet, if at all). Hyper the J-20s first.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post27 Aug 2022, 14:07

spazsinbad wrote::doh: EGADS! NGAD? We need the starship whatsitsname! :devil:

While we are on a roll. What about a couple of the new ford carriers and 200 FA-xx?

@element1loop To get the B-21 is a big deal in CONOPS, I don't know if we will go that far. The F-35 with extended range targeted weapons may be it
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Unread post27 Aug 2022, 14:43

The recent visit of 4 B-2's to Australia has shown both the USAF and the RAAF what a 5k radius steath strike platform can do when operating from "down unda"

It can show up any where within that BIG CIRCLE at any time without notice.

Defending against that would be a nightmare.

If Australia wants to impose that planning / resource burden on a future military adversary the B-21 is the way to go.

Just 5 or 6 would do it.
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steve2267

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Unread post27 Aug 2022, 15:16

usafr wrote:
Just 5 or 6 would do it.


*IF* only 5 or 6 would do it, a teaming / basing agreement with Australia wherein USAF rotates a squadron for R&R, errr I mean joint training or to stand alert, to Australia on a permanent basis would seem to be the most economical way to do it.

If Australia really wanted their own birds, then sure, open the check book, but 5 or 6 does not seem to be enough, IMO, for an operational / training / readiness perspective. I would want at least a dozen, but more like 24. 1/3 down for maintenance, 1/3 out for training, 1/3 ready.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post27 Aug 2022, 15:50

steve2267 wrote:
usafr wrote:
Just 5 or 6 would do it.


*IF* only 5 or 6 would do it, a teaming / basing agreement with Australia wherein USAF rotates a squadron for R&R, errr I mean joint training or to stand alert, to Australia on a permanent basis would seem to be the most economical way to do it.
.

That works for me. They bring their B-21 and we'll put on a Friday afternoon keg every week :thanks:
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Unread post27 Aug 2022, 20:03

Exactly. With 5 or 6 "Aussie" B-21s home based, with trained ground support and spare spare parts and prepositioned munitions the arrival of the same numba of USAF B-21s for a week of training or a month of ops becomes infinitely more practical. No support peeps or support packages. Just the crewed jets. Aussies even provide the beer!
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Unread post27 Aug 2022, 20:41

More and more Northern Australia is becoming a 'base' for US assets. I'm not sure if a Chinese company still owns Darwin Harbour. What was somebody thinking? I guess somebody wasn't. Anyway the GYRENES appear to be 'HAPPY as LARRY'.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... ian-drill/

https://www.airforce.gov.au/exercises/pitch-black-2022 [19 Aug t0 08 Sep 2022]
&
https://www.airforce.gov.au/news-and-ev ... black-2022
WAY UP NORTH (not Alaska) EXERCISE PITCH BLACK 2022 is underway. :devil: PARTY PANTS (Participants?): :drool:
Darwin
Australia EA-18G Growler
F-35A Lightning II
KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport
France Rafale
Germany Typhoon
Multi-Role Tanker Transport
A400M Atlas
India SU-30MKI
Indonesia F-16A
Japan F-2
Republic of Korea KF-16U
Singapore F-15SG
Multi-Role Tanker Transport
F-16
UK Multi-Role Tanker Transport
Eurofighter Typhoon
USAF F-15C

RAAF Base Tindal
Australia E-7A Wedgetail
F-35A Lightning II
EWTS [as in Utes or Youths?]
USMC F-35B
France CASA 235

RAAF Base Amberley
Australia KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport
Republic of Korea Multi-Role Tanker Transport
France Multi-Role Tanker Transport

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Unread post03 Sep 2022, 12:51

F-35B jets out of Japan make debut at Australia’s Pitch Black exercise
03 Sep 2022 Mike Yeo

"DARWIN, Australia — The F-35 fighter jet is making its debut at the multinational Pitch Black exercise in Australia, with U.S. Marine Corps “B” variants participating in drills there in the lead-up to the main event.

The 12 F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft were practicing the Corps’ concept known as “Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations” at RAAF Base Curtin, according to Lt. Col. Richard Behrmann, an operations officer at Marine Aircraft Group 12 based in Iwakuni, Japan.

The F-35Bs have been deployed to RAAF Base Tindal, 600 miles away from Curtin, since mid-August for “robust” unit-level training ahead of Pitch Black, a military exercise involving more than 2,500 personnel and aircraft from 10 nations.

Behrmann told Defense News on Friday that the EABO training in Australia was a culmination of several MAG-12 events meant to refine the concept. One of those events included using Tindal as a hub and Curtin as a spoke in order to mirror EABO’s hub-and-spoke model, with the officer calling it the unit’s most “robust and in-depth” exercise of the concept....

...RAAF Base Curtin, which locals call a front-line “bare base,” has a 10,000-foot runway, aircraft shelters and other infrastructure, which are normally crewed and maintained by a small caretaker staff, unless activated for use during exercises or a crisis.

The 12 F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack squadrons 121 and 242 are also Down Under to drill with other MAG-12 subordinate units — Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12.

A pair of Japan-based Marine Corps KC-130J Super Hercules tankers, which also performed transport tasks and rapid ground refueling, supported the F-35Bs during the EABO training....

...Behrmann also said the F-35s deployed to Australia with the Autonomic Logistics Information System, which is used for predictive maintenance of the aircraft. He noted that Marines used a very small aperture terminal — essentially a ground station with a satellite dish — to transmit data for ALIS.

MAG-12 also put into place a so-called PACE plan — primary, alternate, contingency and emergency — that allowed the force to transmit data and voice communications between Iwakuni, Tindal and Curtin using high-frequency radio during the EABO exercise....

...This year’s Pitch Black has also served as an opportunity for partner nations to observe the F-35B up close and in action, with the Marine Corps hosting delegations from partner nations, including one from Singapore’s next-generation fighter project office.

Singapore has selected the F-35B as its next-gen fighter, and the U.S. State Department has already cleared the sale for an initial four aircraft with an option to buy eight more. Initial deliveries are expected to begin in 2026...."

Photo: "A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B, shown, refuels from a KC-30A Voyager aircraft over Australia's Northern Territory during Pitch Black drills. (Commonwealth of Australia)" https://www.defensenews.com/resizer/bZ9 ... format(jpg):quality(70)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/archetype/K4TC6ZGJVNC4TN4U7VC3MVQOEA.jpg
TINY URL: https://tinyurl.com/yc4sv45e


Source: https://www.defensenews.com/training-si ... -exercise/
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F-35B VMFA-242 ARF Pitch Ex Black Sep 2022.jpg
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Unread post03 Sep 2022, 14:37

spazsinbad wrote:Photo: "A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B, shown, refuels from a KC-30A Voyager aircraft over Australia's Northern Territory during Pitch Black drills. (Commonwealth of Australia)"

Image
There is just something mesmerizing about that picture. The view must be amazing.
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Unread post10 Sep 2022, 21:28

US sends F-22 jets to Australia to train alongside F-35A fighters
10 Sep 2022 Mike Yeo

"MELBOURNE, Australia — American F-22 fighters are training in northern Australia alongside the host nation’s F-35A jets as part of an initiative meant to improve interoperability between their armed forces. Six F-22s from 15th Wing based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, arrived at RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory in mid-August, with training beginning soon after....

...Defense News did observe a takeoff cycle involving five F-22s and several F-35s while visiting Tindal. Each U.S. Air Force jet lined up on the runway with an Australian F-35 before each took off individually.

Tindal is home to the F-35As of No. 75 Squadron."

Photo: "A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, taxis at RAAF Base Tindal in Northern Territory, Australia, on Aug. 18, 2022. (Staff Sgt. Tristan Biese/U.S. Air Force)" https://www.defensenews.com/resizer/54V ... format(jpg):quality(70)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/archetype/QKLGXFULLJE7NDX2U4U6CFVZIA.jpg & TINY URL: https://tinyurl.com/y63wdd9m


Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2022/09 ... -fighters/
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Unread post12 Sep 2022, 21:29

Pitch Black participants benefit from Australian base upgrades
13 Sep 2022 Mike Yeo

"MELBOURNE, Australia — Participants in a recent air combat exercise used Australia’s upgraded air bases that are still undergoing work in part to support an increased rotational presence of U.S. forces. The expanded facilities in northern Australia allowed a larger number of aircraft to park at RAAF Base Darwin during the biennial exercise Pitch Black, which ran Aug. 19-Sept. 8. More work is taking place at RAAF Base Tindal, about 200 miles south of Darwin, with the work at both bases falling under the purview of the United States Force Posture Initiatives agreement with Australia....

...both governments have jointly invested in a range of capital infrastructure works and supporting arrangements, mainly in northern Australia. These include expanded aircraft parking facilities at Darwin, including two new expanded parking aprons; a new hangar for Australia P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft sustainment; and a U.S. Air Force aircraft maintenance support facility. These projects were completed between 2020 and 2021....

...The [Darwin] apron is also notable for its four large jet blast deflectors on its southern edge, which manufacturer Blast Deflectors Inc. of Nevada said were built with the high-power engine run-ups for KC-10s in mind. Work is also ongoing at RAAF Base Tindal, from which U.S. Marine Corps F-35B and U.S. Air Force F-22A fighters operating for drills in August and September.

According to Australia’s Defence Department, work at Tindal includes the lengthening of the runway by 2,000 feet to 11,000 feet; a widening of the main taxiway; a new 559,000-square-foot parking apron to support up to four large aircraft; and a new fuel farm with a capacity of 1.59 million gallons.... ...Work at the base is to conclude by 2027 and is expected to cost $1.1 billion...."

Photo: "RAAF Base Darwin in northern Australia has expanded a fair bit in part under the US Force Posture Initiative and Expanded Air Cooperation agreements. Before (L) & after (R) satellite photos showing tarmac expansion. Upgrades are also being made to RAAF Tindal 300 km south" Mike Yeo 12 Sep 2022 https://twitter.com/TheBaseLeg/status/1 ... pgrades%2F


Source: https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... -upgrades/
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DarwinBaseUpgrade2022comparison.jpg
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Unread post20 Oct 2022, 21:23

54 F-35As Delivered news from AirForces Monthly Nov 2022 #416 PDF & GIF (from PDF).
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Unread post22 Oct 2022, 04:04

Air War over the TOP END [6 page PDF of article attached]
Nov 2022 Roy Choo

"Making up for the exercise's cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's iteration of Pitch Black saw the largest number of participating nations in its 40-year history....

...As can be expected in a multinational LFE exercise, offensive counter-air (OCA) and defensive counter-air (DCA) missions were flown by two opposing forces – ‘Red Air’ and ‘Blue Air’. Notably, each of the took on a greater ‘Red Air’ assignment; contingents that AFM spoke reported that between a third to half of their missions were dedicated to flying as an adversary. ‘Red Air’ assignments are considered to be of little training value as crew have to fly to a scripted format in order to ‘punish mistakes’ made by friendly forces.

In previous Pitch Black exercises, a sizeable number of aggressor missions were flown by the RAAF’s No 75 Squadron when it was flying the F/A-18A/B ‘Classic’ Hornet. With the unit having since converted to the F-35A, this is no longer the practice. Contracted Adversary Air (ADAIR) was also notably absent in this year’s exercise.

Adopting a graduated approach, participants were introduced to the exercise with relatively simple Force Integration Training missions during the first week. The exercise gained in complexity in the second and third weeks, with larger packages and heightened threat scenarios. Twice-daily waves were launched, with the second taking place after dusk.

One aspect of the exercise that was significantly reduced was that of air-land integration.

Scenarios that were practised in previous exercises had involved multiple transport aircraft role-playing as high-value assets infiltrating or exfiltrating from a target airfield. The only transport participant this year was the sole French CN-235-200, which simulated inserting special forces while ‘Blue Air’ fighters had to provide air defence.

Fifth-Gen Ops
A significant first for Pitch Black 2022 was the introduction of fifth-generation fighters in the form of RAAF-operated conventional take-off and landing (CTOL)-configured F-35A and the USMC’s short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs.

The RAAF, having brought home its first pair of F-35As in December 2018, has taken delivery of 54 of the 72 examples that it has on order (as of September 2022). The type is flown from two RAAF bases: Williamtown in New South Wales, where No 2 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), 3 and 77 Squadrons reside; and Tindal in Australia’s Northern Territory, home to No 75 Squadron.

For Pitch Black 2022, a RAAF composite unit made up of aircraft and crew from both No 3 and 75 Squadrons was formed.

‘Blue Air’ missions were solely flown by the Australian F-35As.

Flt Lt ‘Shed’ is a No 75 Squadron pilot who has recently converted from the F/A-18F Super Hornet. He explained: “The F-35 is above all else an airborne sensor. With the APG-81 radar, combined with the way the jets speak to each other – through the F-35-only Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) – it combines all the data the sensors are pulling in as what we call sensor fusion.”

While the RAAF F-35As and USMC F-35Bs are believed to have networked through MADL, varying levels of fourth- and fifth-gen fighter integration was performed, depending on whether the aircraft from participating nations were equipped with Link-16 and to what version of the tactical datalink.

“During Pitch Black, we are operating to unclassified tactics as prescribed in the exercise’s Combined Air Operations Guide. It still provides the specific outcomes that are targeted for Pitch Black. We do the full gamut of F-35 missions of air-to-air and air-to-ground as part of a package with our partners,” ‘Shed’ continued."

Flying from Tindal were 12 F-35Bs from the USMC’s Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12). As was the case with the Australian F-35As, a composite unit comprising aircraft and personnel from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) ‘Green Knights’ and VMFA-242 ‘Bats’ - both from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni in Japan – participated in the exercise. Lt Col Richard ‘GABBE’ Behrman, MAG-12 Operations Officer, shared the reason for this composition. “We were very interested in exercising a Marine Air-Ground Task Force concept, which has a headquarters element led by MAG-12, and then components of both VMFA-121 and VMFA-242, as well as a presence from our transport refuelling squadron, [Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) ‘Sumos’], and elements from our maintenance and support squadrons.”

He shared the fact that six of the F-35Bs conducted Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) training at RAAF Base Curtin, Western Australia, in mid-August, prior to their participation in Exercise Pitch Black. The EABO concept emphasises the employment of mobile and distributed Marine forces from austere locations to support a larger naval campaign.

The hub-and-spoke model of EABO – which envisages the rapid dispersion of aircraft from major bases to several smaller distributed bases – was trialled, with Tindal functioning as the ‘hub’. Curtin, a bare and isolated base located nearly 1,000km (621 miles) away, was used as the ‘spoke’...."

Source: AirForces Monthly Nov 2022 #416
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PITCH BLACK AirForces Monthly Nov 2022 pp6.pdf
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Unread post23 Oct 2022, 14:49

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Unread post04 Nov 2022, 06:49

Pitch Black upholds free, open Indo-Pacific
02 Nov 2022 THE AUSTRALIAN

"[Lots of hoo-haa about other participants first then...] Pitch Black 22 was also the first in the biennial series to include fifth-generation capabilities in the shape of Australian and US Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. The Royal Australian Air Force deployed a number of its conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35As to Darwin, while the US Marine Corps sent 12 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs to Tindal, near Katherine, for the exercise.

“We like the F-35 because of the high-fidelity information that it provides us,” explains Flight Lieutenant Mick Grey, an F-35 pilot with No.75 Squadron, RAAF.

“It’s above all else an airborne sensor, so it uses the equipment on the jet to provide extremely high-fidelity information for us to make better decisions on the battlefield.

“The other big reason we like it is because of the lethality and flexibility of the platform. It’s capable of dealing with such a variety of mission sets, and doing that all at the same time.

“Other platforms might need significant configuration changes before they can go and tackle different mission sets, whereas this aircraft can do suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) concurrently with air-to-air missions.
“There isn’t an aircraft I would rather be flying, it’s the most capable jet out there at the moment.”

Source: https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-featur ... cific.html
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