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

cdxbow

Well-Known Member
One concern however is the loss of numerous military aviation companies from the 1950s-1970s due to mergers and being starved to bankruptcy by diminishing project opportunities. Are some of smaller players willing to venture into this concept or will the few large players just force their way in and inflate costs?
Yes, a different environment with vastly fewer players.
Also people seem to forget there were a few dogs amongst the 'Century series' of fighters. They weren't all winners.
I'm sure digital engineering and production will enable a 5 year development cycle if there is no new, technical problems to be solved. It took less than 2 years for the RAAF to get a flying loyal wingman.
 

Trackmaster

Member
Yes, a different environment with vastly fewer players.
Also people seem to forget there were a few dogs amongst the 'Century series' of fighters. They weren't all winners.
I'm sure digital engineering and production will enable a 5 year development cycle if there is no new, technical problems to be solved. It took less than 2 years for the RAAF to get a flying loyal wingman.
Article in The Australian today stating the C 27s have been redesignated in the roles of disaster relief, crisis response and regional engagement as they are not fit for purpose as Battlefield airlifters.
Screen shot attached as the story is behind a paywall.
 

Attachments

DDG38

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Full article (sourced from Defence News account)
Trouble-plagued Spartan warplanes redeployed to humanitarian role
By Ben Packham Foreign Affairs And Defence Correspondent, The Australian

Friday 9th July 2021 at 12:00am



Defence is redefining the role of 10 “battlefield airlifters”, designating them as humanitarian response aircraft due to long-running problems that make them unsafe to use in war zones.

The C-27J Spartans, purchased under a $1.5bn program to undertake missions in “high threat environments”, will now be used for disaster relief, crisis response and regional engagement missions.

The move came as Defence received the first two of four new CH-47F Chinook helicopters from the US just three months after the sale was approved.

Defence's troubled workhorse helicopters, the Airbus-built MRH-90 Taipan, remain out of action, with all 47 grounded for the past month due to safety concerns.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton, who has embarked on a campaign to fast-track capability programs within his department, said the extra Chinooks had a “long and proven track record” and would strengthen the army's airlift capability.

“My clear message to the Australian Defence Force has been that we need to make sure we condense the timelines where we have equipment or support for our personnel under construction or on order,” Mr Dutton told The Australian. “I want to make sure that I do everything within my power to make sure the equipment that we have ordered is up and running as quickly as possible.”

The Spartans, which entered service eight years ago, replacing the RAAF's Caribou fleet, have achieved only 35 per cent of planned flying hours over the past five years. The move to redefine their role follows Defence admissions to a parliamentary committee of “deficiencies” with its “electronic self-protection systems”.

Former RAAF head of capability Cath Roberts said last year the Spartan had faced “significant delays in terms of achieving the capability outcomes that were originally determined”.

But Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, said the aircraft could still play an important role in securing Defence's strategic objectives, and demonstrated its capabilities most recently during the 2019-20 bushfires. “The Spartan conducted these missions at a range that exceeded the ability of Defence helicopters because of its flexibility and the inherent operational characteristics of a light tactical fixed-wing aircraft,” he said.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst Marcus Hellyer said Defence was “cutting its losses” with the Spartan by “accepting reality” it would not play a warfighting role. “Certain parts of Defence fought tooth and nail to get a battlefield airlifter. But other parts of Defence, myself included, said ‘everything you want out of this can be done by the C-130s or the Chinooks CH47 helicopters'. So rather than getting a new fleet, just expand two existing fleets and minimise your overhead.

“Surprise, surprise, we get down the track and we realise that because we bought a fleet that isn't operated by the US Air Force, we have inherited a lot of the parent nation overheads.”

Labor's assistant defence spokesman Pat Conroy has previously ridiculed the problems with the Spartan, branding it “a battlefield airlift aircraft that cannot fly into a battlefield”.

The additional Chinooks will bolster Australia's fleet of the aircraft to 14.

“The Chinooks will add capacity and resilience to the existing fleet of reliable, cost-effective and very capable aircraft,” Mr Dutton said.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Article in The Australian today stating the C 27s have been redesignated in the roles of disaster relief, crisis response and regional engagement as they are not fit for purpose as Battlefield airlifters.
Screen shot attached as the story is behind a paywall.
The move to redefine their role follows Defence admissions to a parliamentary committee of “deficiencies” with its “electronic self-protection systems”.
I know from personal experience that integrating bleeding edge electronics into existing platforms can be a minefield, but on the face of it I'm surprised if that alone is the issue.

oldsig127
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Full article (sourced from Defence News account)
Trouble-plagued Spartan warplanes redeployed to humanitarian role
By Ben Packham Foreign Affairs And Defence Correspondent, The Australian

Friday 9th July 2021 at 12:00am



Defence is redefining the role of 10 “battlefield airlifters”, designating them as humanitarian response aircraft due to long-running problems that make them unsafe to use in war zones.

The C-27J Spartans, purchased under a $1.5bn program to undertake missions in “high threat environments”, will now be used for disaster relief, crisis response and regional engagement missions.

The move came as Defence received the first two of four new CH-47F Chinook helicopters from the US just three months after the sale was approved.

Defence's troubled workhorse helicopters, the Airbus-built MRH-90 Taipan, remain out of action, with all 47 grounded for the past month due to safety concerns.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton, who has embarked on a campaign to fast-track capability programs within his department, said the extra Chinooks had a “long and proven track record” and would strengthen the army's airlift capability.

“My clear message to the Australian Defence Force has been that we need to make sure we condense the timelines where we have equipment or support for our personnel under construction or on order,” Mr Dutton told The Australian. “I want to make sure that I do everything within my power to make sure the equipment that we have ordered is up and running as quickly as possible.”

The Spartans, which entered service eight years ago, replacing the RAAF's Caribou fleet, have achieved only 35 per cent of planned flying hours over the past five years. The move to redefine their role follows Defence admissions to a parliamentary committee of “deficiencies” with its “electronic self-protection systems”.

Former RAAF head of capability Cath Roberts said last year the Spartan had faced “significant delays in terms of achieving the capability outcomes that were originally determined”.

But Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, said the aircraft could still play an important role in securing Defence's strategic objectives, and demonstrated its capabilities most recently during the 2019-20 bushfires. “The Spartan conducted these missions at a range that exceeded the ability of Defence helicopters because of its flexibility and the inherent operational characteristics of a light tactical fixed-wing aircraft,” he said.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst Marcus Hellyer said Defence was “cutting its losses” with the Spartan by “accepting reality” it would not play a warfighting role. “Certain parts of Defence fought tooth and nail to get a battlefield airlifter. But other parts of Defence, myself included, said ‘everything you want out of this can be done by the C-130s or the Chinooks CH47 helicopters'. So rather than getting a new fleet, just expand two existing fleets and minimise your overhead.

“Surprise, surprise, we get down the track and we realise that because we bought a fleet that isn't operated by the US Air Force, we have inherited a lot of the parent nation overheads.”

Labor's assistant defence spokesman Pat Conroy has previously ridiculed the problems with the Spartan, branding it “a battlefield airlift aircraft that cannot fly into a battlefield”.

The additional Chinooks will bolster Australia's fleet of the aircraft to 14.

“The Chinooks will add capacity and resilience to the existing fleet of reliable, cost-effective and very capable aircraft,” Mr Dutton said.
I get the feeling someone wanted a NG Caribou with better Speed and Range and that simply doesn’t exist.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Would the Caribou even meet the criteria today for a battlefield airlifter? I would imagine they would struggle more on survivability in a war zone than the C27Js.
No it wouldn’t, what i meant is an Aircraft with the incredible STOL performance of a Caribou but with much better Speed and Range.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Full article (sourced from Defence News account)
Trouble-plagued Spartan warplanes redeployed to humanitarian role
By Ben Packham Foreign Affairs And Defence Correspondent, The Australian

Friday 9th July 2021 at 12:00am



Defence is redefining the role of 10 “battlefield airlifters”, designating them as humanitarian response aircraft due to long-running problems that make them unsafe to use in war zones.

The C-27J Spartans, purchased under a $1.5bn program to undertake missions in “high threat environments”, will now be used for disaster relief, crisis response and regional engagement missions.

The move came as Defence received the first two of four new CH-47F Chinook helicopters from the US just three months after the sale was approved.

Defence's troubled workhorse helicopters, the Airbus-built MRH-90 Taipan, remain out of action, with all 47 grounded for the past month due to safety concerns.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton, who has embarked on a campaign to fast-track capability programs within his department, said the extra Chinooks had a “long and proven track record” and would strengthen the army's airlift capability.

“My clear message to the Australian Defence Force has been that we need to make sure we condense the timelines where we have equipment or support for our personnel under construction or on order,” Mr Dutton told The Australian. “I want to make sure that I do everything within my power to make sure the equipment that we have ordered is up and running as quickly as possible.”

The Spartans, which entered service eight years ago, replacing the RAAF's Caribou fleet, have achieved only 35 per cent of planned flying hours over the past five years. The move to redefine their role follows Defence admissions to a parliamentary committee of “deficiencies” with its “electronic self-protection systems”.

Former RAAF head of capability Cath Roberts said last year the Spartan had faced “significant delays in terms of achieving the capability outcomes that were originally determined”.

But Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, said the aircraft could still play an important role in securing Defence's strategic objectives, and demonstrated its capabilities most recently during the 2019-20 bushfires. “The Spartan conducted these missions at a range that exceeded the ability of Defence helicopters because of its flexibility and the inherent operational characteristics of a light tactical fixed-wing aircraft,” he said.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst Marcus Hellyer said Defence was “cutting its losses” with the Spartan by “accepting reality” it would not play a warfighting role. “Certain parts of Defence fought tooth and nail to get a battlefield airlifter. But other parts of Defence, myself included, said ‘everything you want out of this can be done by the C-130s or the Chinooks CH47 helicopters'. So rather than getting a new fleet, just expand two existing fleets and minimise your overhead.

“Surprise, surprise, we get down the track and we realise that because we bought a fleet that isn't operated by the US Air Force, we have inherited a lot of the parent nation overheads.”

Labor's assistant defence spokesman Pat Conroy has previously ridiculed the problems with the Spartan, branding it “a battlefield airlift aircraft that cannot fly into a battlefield”.

The additional Chinooks will bolster Australia's fleet of the aircraft to 14.

“The Chinooks will add capacity and resilience to the existing fleet of reliable, cost-effective and very capable aircraft,” Mr Dutton said.
We have just purchased 4 extra Chinooks
Will their be some pressure / need to order some additional C-130's?

The now acknowledged limitations of the C-27J may throw out the expectations for airlift a bit re the last DWP and Strategic review.

Thoughts!

Regards S
 

Pusser01

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
We have just purchased 4 extra Chinooks
Will their be some pressure / need to order some additional C-130's?

The now acknowledged limitations of the C-27J may throw out the expectations for airlift a bit re the last DWP and Strategic review.

Thoughts!

Regards S
I suppose if they really wanted some extra Hercs a few ex-RAF C-130J's could be picked up fairly easily. I would assume they have a similar fit-out as the current RAAF models noting they are of roughly the same vintage. Cheers. Marshall expects strong demand for surplus UK Hercules | News | Flight Global
 

OldTex

Active Member
With the C 27s reportedly being redesignated in the roles of disaster relief, crisis response and regional engagement, as they are not fit for purpose as Battlefield airlifters, perhaps they should be handed over to appropriate civilian agencies to cover the first 2 roles or gifted to Pacific island nations (and Timor Leste) for the 3rd role (in much the same way the Guardian patrol boats are gifted).
They could then be replaced by a limited number of C-130J-30s (perhaps 6-8). I doubt the soon to be ex-RAF Mk4's (C-130J-30) will be suitable due to the heavy use in Afghanistan and Iraq etc. I seem to recall they are due soon for wing main spar/centre box replacement which is one of the reasons they are being retired.
 

Depot Dog

Active Member
I was posted to Richmond in 1984-1988. They were talking about replacing the Caribou back then. STOL was a feature that was valued. The Caribou had a reputation of landing on rough airfields located on the side of a mountain in New Guinea. The Hercules could not do this and it was one of the reasons it was thought unsuitable. Since then I do not know if the New Guinea airfields have been repaired or the STOL requirement has been dropped. All I know was I was told the Herc is not a replacement for a Caribou.

Regards
DD
 

swerve

Super Moderator
First I heard of the C-27J being trouble plagued. We probably should have taken the hint when the USAF transferred its Spartans to the US Coast Guard.
The USAF never wanted it. C-27J didn't fit its planned transport fleet. It only bought them to kill the US army plan to operate C-27J (which the army wanted because the USAF refused to buy a transport for some of the tasks the army wanted done). Once the USAF had bought the C-27J, then successfully argued that it didn't make sense to have separate USAF & army fleets of the same aircraft doing the same thing, & as the air force it was logical for them to be combined within the USAF, it cancelled the rest of the order & got rid of those it had.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The USAF never wanted it. C-27J didn't fit its planned transport fleet. It only bought them to kill the US army plan to operate C-27J (which the army wanted because the USAF refused to buy a transport for some of the tasks the army wanted done). Once the USAF had bought the C-27J, then successfully argued that it didn't make sense to have separate USAF & army fleets of the same aircraft doing the same thing, & as the air force it was logical for them to be combined within the USAF, it cancelled the rest of the order & got rid of those it had.
Turf wars, making real wars that much more difficult.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I guess the pressing question is how urgent is it to replace the C-27J?

The army is in the process of expanding its CH-47 fleet to 14 which could at least partly offset the need for the C-27J. If the RAAF can wait another 10 years they could simply combine them with the C-130J replacement program.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
These aircraft still have a valuable contribution to make to the transport needs of the ADF in the same way the Caribou served the country for decades in roles not confined to the battlefield.
ADF engagement with our neighbours to our north and in the Pacific adds to our security, enhances our standing in those communities and provides a vital contribution to disaster relief
It’s role as a “battlefield airlifter” may be compromised but it’s utility is not.
 
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