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

Discussion in 'Air Force & Aviation' started by Todjaeger, Mar 12, 2007.

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  1. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Why would you honestly want to go down that road? I would suggest that you do some re-reading of the various aviation and Australian threads here.
     
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  2. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    It is possible that the AGM-84K SLAM-ER derived from the classic Harpoon might have some of those features, alongside upgraded avionics and a different seeker, as well as substantially increased range (250+ km). The SLAM-ER is also cleared for carriage/use from the P-8A Poseidon and like the JSM has a dual land-attack/anti-shipping capability.

    That is sort of the thing though, put too much effort into dispersing something important like fuel, and then the user has to put more effort into collecting it when/where needed, which can be a problem in wartime conditions, never mind in peace time conditions. I am uncertain what the standard and maximum capacity sizes are for fuel trucks and trailers in Australia are, but in the US a full-sized tractor/fuel trailer can hold ~9,200 gal. or just under 35,000 L. What that would in turn mean is that after refueling the internal tanks only of three RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets, the tanker trailer would be almost empty. Or alternatively, a tanker would be completely empty well before reaching the nearly 34 tonne internal fuel capacity of a P-8A Poseidon.

    It could take dozens of fuel tank trailers to store and transport sufficient fuel to support an active airbase for a single day of wartime operations. While those fuel trailers could be very easily dispersed so that it would be difficult or even impossible for them all to be lost in a single strike, there would be a very real logistical burden to sustaining flight operations.
     
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  3. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    This is only my opinion (for what that is worth...) but had been done 15 or 20 years ago, then it would have potentially been worth looking at back then. With the way modern air battles are currently fought, as well as what/how a current battlespace is managed now, a strike version of the EF Typhoon is really too late to the party, at least for any conflict with a peer or near-peer level adversary. The ability to carry a large amount of stores is of little value when one's adversary can detect the attacking aircraft potentially hundreds of km's away and/or prior to launch. Also, while an aircraft might have a high weight capacity for stores, if one is talking about some of the larger standoff munitions like JASSM or JASSM-ER, the physical size of the ordnance will mean that only a limited number of carriage or hardpoints are rated for that use. With that in mind, a I believe a potential adversary would be less likely to detect and be able to respond to an incoming strike if it was launched from LO aircraft.

    If the RAAF were to adopt a version of the Typhoon at this point, would be a step backwards in capability, not forwards.
     
  4. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    That's it just possibilities whereas JSM and LRASM definitely have the capabilities, and yes it costs to integrate, but why continue to use an outdated obsolete weapon when new far more modern and capable ones are available.
     
  5. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Possibly because the AGM-84K SLAM-ER is available and operational now, while the JSM and LRASM is not, at least not from RAAF aircraft.

    The JSM development was completed in June 2018, with aircraft integration currently only planned for the F-35 as far as I have been able to tell, and that integration and testing is expected to continue until 2023. More specifically, it is planned for the F-35A Block 4.1 software release which is due out in 2021.

    The AGM-158C LRASM reached EOC when released from USAF B-1B Lancer bombers sometime in 2018, with integration planned for USN F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in 2019. Again, as far as I have been able to determine, the USN does not plan to integrate the LRASM onto the P-8A Poseidon at the present time. Two other facts which might be worth noting are that, for one, the AGM-158C is a fairly sizable missile, being comparable to a TacTom at ~2,400 lbs. The other is that the US selected the LRASM as Increment 1 in it's Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) programme, with Increment 2 planned to meet future maritime threats past 2024. One issue that arose however is that the funding to work on Increment 2 was removed in the 2018 budget. While the current plans might be in limbo, it does seem as though the US has some programmes in the works which should deliver some results in the near future.
     
  6. FoxtrotRomeo999

    FoxtrotRomeo999 Member

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    :rolleyes: Fancy local 3-D printing (or additive manufacturing) an RAAF F-35 component?
    :D Who is RUAG Australia? Headquartered in Bayswater, Melbourne, RUAG Australia has facilities in Airport West in Victoria, RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, and in Wingfield, South Australia. RUAG Australia is an Australian company excelling in engineering design, manufacture and life cycle management of aircraft hydraulic, mechanical and structural assemblies for the defence and aerospace sectors. Capabilities include maintenance, repair and overhaul; ultra-precision, clean room manufacturing; complex component machining; design engineering; chemical processing and finishing; and research and development. RUAG Australia is currently contributing to a range of technologies including the manufacture of F-35 landing gear actuators, F-35 weapon bay door actuators, and the special processing of F-35 vertical tail components.

    RUAG Australia was successfully awarded the lead assignment for four technology groups in the initial F-35 regional sustainment assignments for components. RUAG Australia also has multiple current contracts with the Australian Department of Defence for the maintenance of hydraulic and undercarriage pneumatic fuel and environmental control system components for the Hornet, Orion and Chinook fleets. RUAG Australia also provide maintenance support to the Royal Malaysian Air Force for their F-18 Hornet, C-130 Hercules, S-61, and engineering services.

    ;) (If successful) Impact on Logistics and Component Availability
    The technology has been around for some time - I recall sending my definitely not military IT team about six years ago a US Army mag on the topic where they were printing food (OK, mixing ratpak components to individual wants and needs), clothing, mission target models, and the rest. Assuming the collaboration succeeds, and I am reasonably optimistic it will, then logistics becomes more about (maybe even mobile) 3D-printers and result in easier to manage supply chains/maintenance.


    :p Why we could even patch up a damaged F-35B out in the bush ... (I'm a fan of the free range F-35B that is able to deploy most anywhere and don't see these as necessarily being tied to aircraft carriers/LHDs, but that is another topic) .
     
  7. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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  8. seaspear

    seaspear Member

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    There has been some discussion on having the LHD,s carry the F35B but would there be more capability and capacity by increasing the number of air to air refueling tankers
     
  9. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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  10. seaspear

    seaspear Member

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    Would though they get more capacity for operations increasing the number of A330 from six
     
  11. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    The first tranche was five and the second is 2 giving a total of 7. Again, like all else, it comes down to funding and how such funding is allocated.
     
  12. seaspear

    seaspear Member

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    In 2016 there was a white paper that was considering increasing the number to nine tankers
     
  13. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Ah do we know if #8 & #9 have been funded yet? I'd just done a quick mr google before I answered.
     
  14. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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    This article saves wading thru: http://www.defence.gov.au/Whitepaper/Docs/2016-Defence-White-Paper.pdf (10Mb)
     
  15. Trackmaster

    Trackmaster Member

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    The challenge for the next two will be whether to go with two extra, second hand ex-civilian aircraft to keep a common fleet, or to go with brand new A-330s in the latest configuration.
    Nine originals, or start the build-up of a new fleet?
     
  16. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    Which ever way they go, for a Air force with 3SQN's of 35A's , one Sqn of Super hornets, Growlers, AWACs and at this stage a dozen P8's; one would suggest we will need a good quantity of MRTT's.
    I trust we get the nine suggested sooner rather than later.
    7 with one in VIP configuration may be limiting.


    Regards S
     
  17. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Okay, I admit this might be a little petty, but this also a pet peeve of mine. The RAAF does not operate any AWACS aircraft, as AWACS refers to a specific US programme the Airborne Warning and Control Systems which produced the E-3 Sentry aircraft for the USAF, while the RAAF E-7 Wedgetail aircraft are actually AEW&C for Airborne Early Warning & Control, which is a general term for the type of aircraft that the US AWACS programme produced.

    With the respect to the range map from post #6289, I honestly find such maps of little actual value and IMO are only really useful to argue either for or against something like the F-35 with people who are ignorant and/or lack significant context.

    For instance, while there are rings showing distances from established RAAF Bases (both bare and permanent) there is no mention of aircraft load-out or mission. As a side note, per the F-35 Selected Acquisition Report Dec 2017 it appears that the F-35A has demonstrated the capability of carrying a pair of JDAM's and AIM-120's internally and operate with a 669 n mile combat radius...

    Of additional interest is that the range rings (apart from using old range data) also do not make any mention of launching standoff weaponry from an F-35. Given that many of the newer standoff munitions have ranges that are expressed in hundreds of km's, that would certainly increase the 'reach' of RAAF strike aircraft. Also, the map only shows RAAF bases, which completely ignores the reality that RAAF aircraft could and would operate from civilian runaways if and when needed. I am quite certain that if the RAAF needed to provide cover for areas of central and/or southwestern Australia that were outside the combat radius of the in-service aircraft, then the RAAF would be able to operate detachments from places like the Alice Springs or Kalgoorlie-Boulder airports.

    In a nutshell, while such maps with range rings might help people visualize coverage, some context is required before the information can valuable.
     
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  18. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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    Thanks for providing more context. Most readers will understand the nature of the original graphic however it is only a graphic illustrating text in the original PDF / article.
     
  19. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I read the map as simply geographic range from an airbase with no mention of aircraft or weapon range at all.
     
  20. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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    This is the caption for the map graphic however I'm not going to find the original article for more context. F-35mapASPIfuelled&singleARFcombatRadiusTEXT.gif