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

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Hi AD. Also of interest as mentioned elsewhere, RAAF will be currently the only user of JDAM-ER. Which is the wing kit tested with the weapon a long long time ago in early JDAM history but never funded for field use in the U.S. A very nice extra stand-off option for the RAAF frag planners to use when needed.
I'm wondering whether it will be a stop gap. the Kerkanya is back under development again, and they were trialling the long range wing kit.

considering that kerkanya was the original vehicle of concept for JDAM, then there is some irony in restarting a 20 year old weapons project.

I was under the impression that JDAM had been trialled with the long range kerkanya wings.
 

Magoo

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
Hi AD. Also of interest as mentioned elsewhere, RAAF will be currently the only user of JDAM-ER. Which is the wing kit tested with the weapon a long long time ago in early JDAM history but never funded for field use in the U.S. A very nice extra stand-off option for the RAAF frag planners to use when needed.
Just to clarify this, JDAM-ER is a privately funded development by Boeing's Hawker de Havilland, and is not part of any current RAAF requirement.

The ADF teamed up with HdH last year to provide one of ARDU's Hornets to conduct test drops of JDAM-ER At Woomera, but there has been no active movement on bringing this capability into RAAF service since.

That said, there is considerable interest in the capability with the ADF, so future funding a requirements are not out of the question.

Cheers

Magoo
 

knightrider4

New Member
P8a

Just got this from Nelsons site looks like the MMA is the only realistic alternative out there for Australia. What do you think will The RAAF purchase a mots version or will it be modified for Australian use.




FIRST PASS APPROVAL FOR ORION REPLACEMENT



I am pleased to announce that the Government has given first pass approval for AIR 7000 Phase 2 – a $4 billion project for Defence to acquire a manned Maritime Patrol and Response Aircraft (MPRA).



The manned MPRA, in conjunction with the Multi-mission Unmanned Aerial System being acquired by Defence under AIR 7000 Phase 1, will replace the capability currently provided by the AP-3C Orion.



The AP-3C Orion is planned to be retired in 2018 after over 30 years of service.



First pass approval has been granted to allow Defence to commence formal negotiations with the United States Navy (USN) to participate in the cooperative development of the P‑8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA).



Following an exhaustive examination of available options, the USN chose the Boeing Company to develop the P‑8A MMA based on its 737 commercial aircraft. The P‑8A MMA offers a modern, highly reliable commercially-proven airframe with the latest maritime surveillance and attack capabilities.



The P-8A will be equipped with modern Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance sensors that have evolved from proven systems. The P‑8A will be capable of broad-area, maritime, littoral and limited overland operations.



Through its participation in the proposed cooperative development of the MMA, Defence will assist in providing opportunities for Australian industry as well as gain an ability to positively influence development of the MMA Program.





For a free subscription to Defence Direct, the Minister for Defence's monthly e-newsletter, please follow this link:

http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/defencedirect/spt/subscribe.html

Mod edit: Moved from RAN discussion thread, MPA operated by RAAF
-Preceptor
 
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swerve

Super Moderator
Just got this from Nelsons site looks like the MMA is the only realistic alternative out there for Australia. ...
Not the only option, but probably the one with least risk, since the USN virtually guarantees development will be fully funded & it'll be built. Alternative tactical systems are available (e.g. the EADS FITS system), but they'd either have to be fitted into a less capable airframe, or Australia would have to take a punt on the A320 MPA, which so far nobody else has ordered. Unfortunately, the Japanese are unlikely to agree to export the P-X, which otherwise looks like a good option.

Mod edit: Moved from RAN discussion thread, MPA operated by RAAF
-Preceptor
 
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Tasman

Ship Watcher
Verified Defense Pro
AIR 7000 Statement by Brendan Nelson

Whilst First Pass Approval does not guarantee final selection of the P-8A by the RAAF the fact that the minister has not mentioned updating the AP-3Cs (beyond what is already planned) in his statement and has moved to enter a co-operative effort with the USN in the development of the P-8A MMA certainly demonstrates how the RAAF and Defence are thinking in relation to Phase 2 of AIR 7000.

To me the steps announced by the minister are a logical approach for Australia to take.

Cheers
 

robsta83

The Wanderer
Expeditionary Wings

Reading a recent DID article Canada's Air Expeditionary Wing and the success in which the USAF has operated them is their any plans or already operating practises in which RAAF operate in the same way is it necessary or are current deployment guidelines working well.
 

robsta83

The Wanderer
Whilst First Pass Approval does not guarantee final selection of the P-8A by the RAAF the fact that the minister has not mentioned updating the AP-3Cs (beyond what is already planned) in his statement and has moved to enter a co-operative effort with the USN in the development of the P-8A MMA certainly demonstrates how the RAAF and Defence are thinking in relation to Phase 2 of AIR 7000.

To me the steps announced by the minister are a logical approach for Australia to take.

Cheers
Any very early speculation on numbers available?:unknown
Purely from my opinion would be 12 MMA with 6-8 Global Hawk or similar.
 

Tasman

Ship Watcher
Verified Defense Pro
Any very early speculation on numbers available?:unknown
Purely from my opinion would be 12 MMA with 6-8 Global Hawk or similar.
The budget would allow a larger purchase. AGRA gave some figures on another forum that suggest a one for one replacement of the AP-3C is possible with the $A4bn mentioned by the Defence Minister, if costs for the RAAF are the same as for the USN. As Australia would be a development partner I see no reason why this should not be so. Therefore I think that a buy of approx 18 P-8A MMA plus 6-8 Global Hawk or similar is a possibility.

If AGRA is lurking he may be able to clarify this.

Cheers
 

AGRA

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
Lurking sounds so ominous...

The U.S. Navy awarded the Boeing-led industry team a USD 3.89 billion contract on May 14, 2004 to build the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA). The total program acquisition value is estimated at about USD 20 billion for 108 aircraft.

As a partner Australia would expect to pay an equal slice of total program acquisition cost for the number of units, including the 20% extra for development on top of unit procurement costs. This would equate with current AUD-USD exchange rates to 18.8 P-8As. This includes all costs, except through life support that is already budgeted for in operating the Orions. Workforce costs will be the same, P-8As will burn more fuel but maintenance costs will be much lower thanks to using commercial 737 maintenance. This would mean however that the BAMS UAV operating costs would have to be supplemented. Though operating costs for 6-8 BAMS UAVs is going to be much, much lower than 18 AP-3C/P-8As.
 

Magoo

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
As a partner Australia would expect to pay an equal slice of total program acquisition cost for the number of units, including the 20% extra for development on top of unit procurement costs. This would equate with current AUD-USD exchange rates to 18.8 P-8As. This includes all costs, except through life support that is already budgeted for in operating the Orions. Workforce costs will be the same, P-8As will burn more fuel but maintenance costs will be much lower thanks to using commercial 737 maintenance. This would mean however that the BAMS UAV operating costs would have to be supplemented. Though operating costs for 6-8 BAMS UAVs is going to be much, much lower than 18 AP-3C/P-8As.
A couple of suggestions re costs and efficiencies...

I think Edinburgh and the various forward bases (Cocos, Darwin, Townsville etc) would need pretty big upgrades to adequately support the more sophisticated P-8s if they are acquired. Lots of money to be spent there, and it will likely come from the program cost!

There may also be manning issues with running as many as 18 P-8s. Although they use similar crewing numbers to the P-3, the RAAF Orion force is currently struggling to fill crews for all its aircraft. Additionally, the commercially based P-8 will much likely have a much higher availability rate than the 30+ year old P-3s, thus requiring fewer numbers of aircraft to fulfil the same annual flying rate.

Also, I think you'll find the fuel burn of a modern turbofan-powered P-8 cruising at 25K+ feet may be quite a bit less than the four-engined, fifty year old design T56-powered P-3 at 15K, not to mention the efficiencies to be found in higher transit and cruise speeds etc. In lower level ops the P-3 would rule. Certainly there will be many maintenance efficiencies to be found with the 737-based P-8.

I would suggest a more realistic number would be between 10 and 14 P-8s, plus up to eight Global Hawks which would be 'flown' by ACOs.

AGRA - you going to the US next month?

Cheers

Magoo
 

Tasman

Ship Watcher
Verified Defense Pro
A couple of suggestions re costs and efficiencies...

I think Edinburgh and the various forward bases (Cocos, Darwin, Townsville etc) would need pretty big upgrades to adequately support the more sophisticated P-8s if they are acquired. Lots of money to be spent there, and it will likely come from the program cost!

There may also be manning issues with running as many as 18 P-8s. Although they use similar crewing numbers to the P-3, the RAAF Orion force is currently struggling to fill crews for all its aircraft. Additionally, the commercially based P-8 will much likely have a much higher availability rate than the 30+ year old P-3s, thus requiring fewer numbers of aircraft to fulfil the same annual flying rate.

Also, I think you'll find the fuel burn of a modern turbofan-powered P-8 cruising at 25K+ feet may be quite a bit less than the four-engined, fifty year old design T56-powered P-3 at 15K, not to mention the efficiencies to be found in higher transit and cruise speeds etc. In lower level ops the P-3 would rule. Certainly there will be many maintenance efficiencies to be found with the 737-based P-8.

I would suggest a more realistic number would be between 10 and 14 P-8s, plus up to eight Global Hawks which would be 'flown' by ACOs.

AGRA - you going to the US next month?

Cheers

Magoo
Thanks for this information Magoo. What you have said seems to make a lot of sense so perhaps robsta's original estimate of approx 12 P-8s and 6-8 Global Hawks or similar is not far off the mark. Whatever the final numbers I believe a P-8A/Global Hawk combination will provide an excellent maritime patrol and (in the case of the P-8A) ASW/anti shipping strike force for Australia.

Cheers
 

Simon9

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
at this point in time - as a discrete organic function - no. note my phrasing
Interesting phrasing indeed. :) I don't think it would be too difficult to do with an active seeker missile like Harpoon, the main hurdle would be establishing a datalink between JORN HQ and the missile system so that they speak the same language. Once the missile is in the general area its seeker would take over anyway.

If they can increase the resolution of JORN sufficiently to get a CONSISTENTLY accurate fix it could even be done with a passive missile - and from what I understand they're working on that right now. Presumably by increasing the sensitivity of the receivers and the filtering algorithms.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I don't think it would be too difficult to do with an active seeker missile like Harpoon, the main hurdle would be establishing a datalink between JORN HQ and the missile system so that they speak the same language. Once the missile is in the general area its seeker would take over anyway.

If they can increase the resolution of JORN sufficiently to get a CONSISTENTLY accurate fix it could even be done with a passive missile - and from what I understand they're working on that right now. Presumably by increasing the sensitivity of the receivers and the filtering algorithms.
I've got a mate in USAF who's responsible for planning and co-ordinating the air war against a specific country - one of the things he's excited about is that he sees that JORN can be used as part of the way point solution for a variety of weapons systems.

One big hand off solution (so to speak!)
 

AGRA

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
I think Edinburgh and the various forward bases (Cocos, Darwin, Townsville etc) would need pretty big upgrades to adequately support the more sophisticated P-8s if they are acquired. Lots of money to be spent there, and it will likely come from the program cost!
Capital infrastructure investment for modernisation of legacy capabilities is never included in the actual program cost. ARH, M1A1, C-130J, etc. Only when a new, additional capability is acquired has this kind of infrastructure being included or recieved its own supplementals.

Air 7000 Phase 2 has a forward estimate as high as AUD 4.5 billion within the DCP which is money for more than 18 P-8s. If the MMA project does not go over budget FMS unit procurement will only cost ~ USD 150 million for each P-8A. The advantage of the 737-800 is the economies of scale make the vehicle system so cheap.

There may also be manning issues with running as many as 18 P-8s. Although they use similar crewing numbers to the P-3, the RAAF Orion force is currently struggling to fill crews for all its aircraft. Additionally, the commercially based P-8 will much likely have a much higher availability rate than the 30+ year old P-3s, thus requiring fewer numbers of aircraft to fulfil the same annual flying rate.
Everyone is struggling in the ADF for bodies but that doesn't mean equipment purchases are being reduced in volume.


Also, I think you'll find the fuel burn of a modern turbofan-powered P-8 cruising at 25K+ feet may be quite a bit less than the four-engined, fifty year old design T56-powered P-3 at 15K, not to mention the efficiencies to be found in higher transit and cruise speeds etc. In lower level ops the P-3 would rule. Certainly there will be many maintenance efficiencies to be found with the 737-based P-8.
Probably right on the fuel but I doubt the P-8As will fly different profiles to the AP-3Cs except in transit.

I would suggest a more realistic number would be between 10 and 14 P-8s, plus up to eight Global Hawks which would be 'flown' by ACOs.
I'm not sure where this assumption that the number of MPAs will go down with has come from but everyone except the Government is subscribing to it.
The accounting is straight forward and we shouldn't be trying to fit those numbers into preconcieved force structure numbers. The demand at the moment is for ISR, ISR and more ISR. Now is not the time to be cutting numbers of MPAs. Especially as the BAMS UAV is going to run on a very small workforce. The Govt. would appear to have put up more than enough money to one for one replace the AP-3Cs.

AGRA - you going to the US next month?
Really PM type discussion, please.
 

Ozzy Blizzard

New Member
Interesting phrasing indeed. :) I don't think it would be too difficult to do with an active seeker missile like Harpoon, the main hurdle would be establishing a datalink between JORN HQ and the missile system so that they speak the same language. Once the missile is in the general area its seeker would take over anyway.

If they can increase the resolution of JORN sufficiently to get a CONSISTENTLY accurate fix it could even be done with a passive missile - and from what I understand they're working on that right now. Presumably by increasing the sensitivity of the receivers and the filtering algorithms.
I'm not sure you would need to datalink the data to the missle, perhaps the launch platform? This would allow the launch platform to launch below the radar horizon without using its surface search radar. You would think even a block II harpoon at low level has a search radius big enough to correct for target movement in the time from launch to aquisition???

As for passive seekers i though the aquisition area was similar (or not massively smaller) than active seekers in low level penitration???
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #38
I'm not sure you would need to datalink the data to the missle, perhaps the launch platform? This would allow the launch platform to launch below the radar horizon without using its surface search radar. You would think even a block II harpoon at low level has a search radius big enough to correct for target movement in the time from launch to aquisition???

As for passive seekers i though the aquisition area was similar (or not massively smaller) than active seekers in low level penitration???
I believe that some sort of mid-flight update would be needed if attempting to target using JORN. Other members undoubtably have more and better info on JORN, but there is a limit to the resolution JORN provides. IIRC JORN can determine to within something like a 400 sq mile box (if anyone can provide more accurate public data, please do) which works out to about a 32 km x 32 km (1,024 sq km) area. As far as I'm aware, that is about what the radar horizon is for something at sea level. Given that the target would be a moving vessel, if a 67 n mile Block II was fired at max range from a ship, it would take approximately 6.75 minutes to reach the appropriate area. If the targeted vessel was moving at only 18 kts, it would have enough time to move a further 3.75 km or basically a 36 km x 36 km (1,296 sq km) search area which I believe would be potentially beyond the radar horizon.

Radar horizon assuming radar location at altitude of 10m (standard for Harpoon AShM) and max height of target is 20m (radar/comm mast), radar horizon is approximately 31.5 km

If a longer-ranged Block II (I've seen different ranges quoted) then the need for a mid-flight update becomes even more pronounced as the flight time to the target area allows the targeted vessel time to move, expanding the target area.

One possible resolution to this, though it would still involve mid-flight updating, would be for a pair or series of missiles to be fired into the target area. Each missile would be assigned their own sub area of the grid to search. On one missile detecting the intended target, it would relay the location to the other missiles which could then conduct a swarm attack.

-Cheers
 

kams

New Member
Orion replacement

Sorry GF, I meant to post this report in this thread, Instead posted in Royal Navy thread.

Orion Replacement

First Pass Approval for Orion Replacement


(Source: Australian Minister for Defence; issued July 20, 2007)



I am pleased to announce that the Government has given first pass approval for AIR 7000 Phase 2 – a A$4 billion project for Defence to acquire a manned Maritime Patrol and Response Aircraft (MPRA).

The manned MPRA, in conjunction with the Multi-mission Unmanned Aerial System being acquired by Defence under AIR 7000 Phase 1, will replace the capability currently provided by the AP-3C Orion.

The AP-3C Orion is planned to be retired in 2018 after over 30 years of service.

First pass approval has been granted to allow Defence to commence formal negotiations with the United States Navy (USN) to participate in the cooperative development of the P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA).

Following an exhaustive examination of available options, the USN chose the Boeing Company to develop the P-8A MMA based on its 737 commercial aircraft. The P-8A MMA offers a modern, highly reliable commercially-proven airframe with the latest maritime surveillance and attack capabilities.

The P-8A will be equipped with modern Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance sensors that have evolved from proven systems. The P-8A will be capable of broad-area, maritime, littoral and limited overland operations.

Through its participation in the proposed cooperative development of the MMA, Defence will assist in providing opportunities for Australian industry as well as gain an ability to positively influence development of the MMA Program.
Mod edit: AP-3C Orion and replacement will be operated by the RAAF.
-Preceptor
 
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