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Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates

This is a discussion on Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by swerve No, it's an antenna (not really wedge-shaped) on top of the fuselage, though nearer the tail ...


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Old October 27th, 2008   #1546
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No, it's an antenna (not really wedge-shaped) on top of the fuselage, though nearer the tail than the nose.

Wedgetail over Sydney

It's named after the wedgetail eagle, I believe.
Nah, that's just a mockup...
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1547
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Thanks, looks like the Erieye in concept.
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1548
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Thanks, looks like the Erieye in concept.
The canoe fairing as I have seen it described, is similiar to the Erieye antennae. A fairly important difference between the two however is that the Erieye is side-scanning only AFAIK, while the MESA found on the Wedgetail (named as Swerve said for the Wedgetail Eagle) covers a 360 degree area. Also the beams on the MESA are stearable, I am not sure if the is a capability the Erieye has. If it does, it would not be able to cover all the gaps in the antennae coverage, since an aircraft carrying the Erieye has to fly in a figure 8 flight path to maintain coverage of an area.

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Old October 28th, 2008   #1549
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None whatsoever.

The Super Hornets are bought and paid for as is the infrastructure to support the Super Hornets.

An alternative fighter if this had not already happened include: Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale, F-15 and F-16.

However these options are moot. The Super Hornet and more importantly the supporting capabilities needed to operate it, have been purchased and work orders placed.
Do not forget one of the main reasons why the SH was purchased. With the USN willing to give up order slots to the RAAF, and with the aircraft similarities to existing RAAF fighters, the FOC date for SH was/is ~2011-2012 IIRC. Different aircraft, like the Typhoon, Gripen, F-15E, F-16, etc etc would take a longer period of time to enter service since there would be more significant differences with the existing RAAF inventory so more training and tools, etc would need to be purchased, and then pilots and mechanics would need a chance to train to operate them effectively. Given the proposed retirement of the F-111 due to service issues the ADF feels it would encounter with the F-111, a retirement date of ~2010 was selected and a followup aircraft would see service in the RAAF.

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Old October 28th, 2008   #1550
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Given the proposed retirement of the F-111 due to service issues the ADF feels it would encounter with the F-111, a retirement date of ~2010 was selected and a followup aircraft would see service in the RAAF.

word is that they may be gone by cob 2009
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1551
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from the current 2 or so % of gross national product allocated to defence spending,what in the personal opinion of the members of this forum would be an acceptable amount to increase to?also with the current surpluses government is enjoying at the moment, would you commit a good portion of that to aquiring extra equipment.i also understand the personell shortages the adf is facing so extra incentives to recruit and retain would obviously be a part of that increase in spending.
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1552
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Nah, that's just a mockup...
Mockup antenna or whole picture?
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1553
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Mockup antenna or whole picture?
antenna i think.
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1554
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The canoe fairing as I have seen it described, is similiar to the Erieye antennae. A fairly important difference between the two however is that the Erieye is side-scanning only AFAIK, while the MESA found on the Wedgetail (named as Swerve said for the Wedgetail Eagle) covers a 360 degree area. Also the beams on the MESA are stearable, I am not sure if the is a capability the Erieye has. If it does, it would not be able to cover all the gaps in the antennae coverage, since an aircraft carrying the Erieye has to fly in a figure 8 flight path to maintain coverage of an area.

-Cheers
The Erieye is an AESA, so it's stearable i guess...
Adding some t/r in front and back seem like a natural upgrade, if there is any point of it -since the AWAC will have to circle on station anyhow...
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1555
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The Erieye is an AESA, so it's stearable i guess...
Adding some t/r in front and back seem like a natural upgrade, if there is any point of it -since the AWAC will have to circle on station anyhow...
There seems to be some dispute about the size of the coverage gaps forward & aft, & I think that may be partly due to them having been reduced from the early Erieyes. The system is reported to have been upgraded a lot since entering service.

Wedgetail gets round that by having extra arrays in the top section, which don't just point sideways. As you say, this could be done on Erieye, with subsidiary arrays at the ends of the antenna, but customers don't seem bothered. Maybe it's not thought worth the cost.

Turkey has also bought the 737 AEW, though the Turks don't call it Wedgetail.
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Old October 28th, 2008   #1556
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Do not forget one of the main reasons why the SH was purchased. With the USN willing to give up order slots to the RAAF, and with the aircraft similarities to existing RAAF fighters, the FOC date for SH was/is ~2011-2012 IIRC. Different aircraft, like the Typhoon, Gripen, F-15E, F-16, etc etc would take a longer period of time to enter service since there would be more significant differences with the existing RAAF inventory so more training and tools, etc would need to be purchased, and then pilots and mechanics would need a chance to train to operate them effectively. Given the proposed retirement of the F-111 due to service issues the ADF feels it would encounter with the F-111, a retirement date of ~2010 was selected and a followup aircraft would see service in the RAAF.

-Cheers
Haven't forgotten the reasons it was chosen. There are MANY good reasons it was chosen, it's capability not the least!

Price is ALSO a big factor. Many have "gnashed their teeth" at the cost of the SH acquisition for Australia, not realising, or not being willing to admit at least, that ANY other aircraft (bar possibly the Gripen or F-16 variants, both of which offer less capability) would be considerably more expensive than the SH.

The Typhoon for instance, which was unlikely to meet Australia's schedule requirements in any case, would have been FAR more expensive, being nearly $30m MORE per aircraft, a similar price to the F-15E or a later variant (F-15SG etc).

Also my comment earlier about that picture of the Wedgetail being a mockup was meant as a joke. It was quite obviously the first flying example of the B-737 Wedgetail AEW&C ordered by Australia.

Regards

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Old October 28th, 2008   #1557
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Just ot confirm the aircarft is named after the Wedgtail eagle. The DMO site gives the reason.

http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/dceod/air5077/air5077.cfm

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The Wedgetail Eagle is a native of Australia, and is one of the largest Eagles in the world. It is known to have extremely acute vision, to range widely in search of prey, to protect it's territory without compromise and to stay aloft for long periods of time.
For these reasons Project WEDGETAILis the name given to Australian Defence Force Project AIR 5077, which has been established to acquire an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) capability.
In addition the top hat provides endfire capability to provide all round coverage along with the abiltiy to scan 360 degress or stare at a a target (or combination according to airforce technology).

http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/737aewc/

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The MESA multi-role electronically scanned array radar is being supplied by Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems Division, based in Baltimore. Tenix Defence Systems of Adelaide, Australia, is supplying some components and modules for the radar. MESA provides 360 coverage and a range of over 200nm.
The radar has a system track capability of 3,000 targets and can track air and sea targets simultaneously.
The system's variable track update rates and dedicated tracking modes allow the operator to track allied and hostile high performance aircraft while continuously scanning the area of operations.
The electronically scanned array features an assembly of transmit and receive modules, operating at L-band and sharing three apertures to provide the 360 coverage. The radar system provides a high level of operational capability because the system is dynamically structured to match the changing mission requirements. When an operator requires a long range view of a selected sector of the operational area, then the relevant system modes can be selected to initiate the search of that sector at more than twice the nominal uniform surveillance range.
DMO puts the nominal range in excess of 400 km (216nm). I suspect the truth may be a tad greater than that.

http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/dceod/air5077/air5077.cfm
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Old October 29th, 2008   #1558
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does anyone know how long each hornet will be outta squadron operation during cbr work.also how many planes at a time will be outta service undergoing cbr?
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Old October 29th, 2008   #1559
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with the superhornet purchase,have they and their spares been paid for yet?curious on account of the aussie dollar diving and also with a talk about global recesion.so with a weaker aussie dollar i'm wondering how much superhornet could end up costing and could the cost get to a point of becoming a deal breaker.
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Old October 29th, 2008   #1560
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with the superhornet purchase,have they and their spares been paid for yet?curious on account of the aussie dollar diving and also with a talk about global recesion.so with a weaker aussie dollar i'm wondering how much superhornet could end up costing and could the cost get to a point of becoming a deal breaker.
Defence funding is insured against currency fluctuations, specifically because of the length of time it takes to acquire equipment and the length of time it has to be supported.

Given that the F/A-18F acquisition project is a defence project that will span a minimum of 15 years, it would indeed be a program that would be effected IF Defence were vulnerable to currency situations...

The contract announcement for the Super Hornet support (spares if you will) was announced on August 1. Nobody can say whether or not this amount has been paid "upfront" though I expect it hasn't.

http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36...alia_08-80.pdf
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