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

Gooey

Member
...
This may be the bad old days but people still remember.
Perhaps a unit whose main function is to support the army should be part of the army.
Absolutely. I can also recount tales of army woe in Vietnam where RAAF 'never' supported them with Iroquois. Apparently. I've been in long enough to know these were just stories about the 'next-door village that is full of idiots and doesn't understand us' type of complaints. Mostly, over a beer. ADF helo force will never have the mass of US Army which was the army reference point in Vietnam. Yet, the RAAF SAR capability was rushed into service for Vietnam from scratch and despite everything were instrumental in resupply at Long Tan. This only grew into fully developed tactical ops and Bushrangers. That success was never acknowledged by army who only saw a convenient BS story of holiday RAAF ala hotels and BBQs. And rugby teams obviously. The point is that the entire helo transfer was political with no basis for history or what is best for Australian air power.

Now whether the army staff effort that resulted in MRH & Tiger was worse than a RAAF equivalent will never be known. The GOTD had a big vote here. Although, we can all throw around speculation. Noting RAAF did get super complex and expensive F-18s in the 80's. Likewise, flight safety. As an airpower and Air Lift guy though, I can categorically say that complex weapon systems like aircraft should be operated by the Air Force. Tiger and now Apache, particularly. Just like other medium-sized countries, which do not have a helo fleet the size of the USA.

The fact that a country the geographic continental size of Australia does not have AAR helo capability speaks to me of 2 things:
1. our airpower is not joined up b/c of army bastardy
2. RAAF is not a saint in any way (my comments about fast jet centric) and should have invested more resources in all AMG missions including AAR

As I said 'if I was king for a day'. People seem to have ignored my full verse. No offense intended to any army brown jobs. Brother aircrew etc included. However, WRT the army sir's who did the coup: you are indeed Sir(s) wrong/insert stronger language as required.

Fly safe.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I seem to recall a post here on DT about back in the days of RAAF control, of an army unit unable to get UH1s to train on because they were tasked to fly the RAAF rugby team to a match.
This may be the bad old days but people still remember.
Perhaps a unit whose main function is to support the army should be part of the army.
Probably commonplace, but it happened to me when the UH1 supporting us had a sudden tasking that involved leaving Puckapunyal and heading back to Melbourne early on a Wednesday afternoon with RAAF and Army passengers already dressed to play Aussie Rules in the Services comp.

I'd have been okay with it if it was Rugby. And if my detachment wasn't expecting resupply.

oldsig
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Probably commonplace, but it happened to me when the UH1 supporting us had a sudden tasking that involved leaving Puckapunyal and heading back to Melbourne early on a Wednesday afternoon with RAAF and Army passengers already dressed to play Aussie Rules in the Services comp.

I'd have been okay with it if it was Rugby. And if my detachment wasn't expecting resupply.

oldsig
I knew a few guys back in those days that their entire Career was centred on how good a Footballer they where(either code). Spent more time playing Sport then doing any work.
A lot of forfeits though if they are relying on the Taipan.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
IIRC they now run the "Best Fighter for Australia" (BFA) Facebook page. My advice is not to inflict it on yourself ;-)
Goony likes to harangue Senator Jim Molan on FB and try to convince other his networked PS2 scenario “simulations” somehow matter..

If 4x SU-35’s took off from Townsville and 4x JSF’s took off from Amberley and met in a merge over Gladstone, type rubbish…
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
You mean like the MRH-90 success story?

regarding other comments, The RAF operate, with minimal fuss, the significant bulk of UK Support Helicopter Fleet.

————————————————

I think the decision underscores 2 things.

1) increasing understanding and awareness of EWSP, and other survivability assessments, across the ADF. For example, until relatively recently battlefield airlifters of all types had relatively limited EWSP until after the increased commitment of the ADF to the MEAO. At the time this level of risk had previously been deemed acceptable. It’s been said before that Timor and Falconer were massive wake up calls in the level of preparedness for a proper fight.

2) differing levels of risk acceptance as times evolve. As much as the guys and girls on the frontline are going to be ready to push the levels of operational risk allowed by commanders has evolved (devolved?) over time.

my perception is that the C-27J will still be able to play an important support role in many areas, even in combat operations; there’s always ass and trash to move from A-B, even just back from the frontline. However it’s plainly apparent the willingness to deploy them in high risk activities is obviously low. Was it the right decision at the time? Don’t know. Should we have bought more C-130J; almost certainly.
If we want to go back far enough, the Army Air Corps was doing just fine without a RAAF at all… ;)
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Absolutely. I can also recount tales of army woe in Vietnam where RAAF 'never' supported them with Iroquois. Apparently. I've been in long enough to know these were just stories about the 'next-door village that is full of idiots and doesn't understand us' type of complaints. Mostly, over a beer. ADF helo force will never have the mass of US Army which was the army reference point in Vietnam. Yet, the RAAF SAR capability was rushed into service for Vietnam from scratch and despite everything were instrumental in resupply at Long Tan. This only grew into fully developed tactical ops and Bushrangers. That success was never acknowledged by army who only saw a convenient BS story of holiday RAAF ala hotels and BBQs. And rugby teams obviously. The point is that the entire helo transfer was political with no basis for history or what is best for Australian air power.

Now whether the army staff effort that resulted in MRH & Tiger was worse than a RAAF equivalent will never be known. The GOTD had a big vote here. Although, we can all throw around speculation. Noting RAAF did get super complex and expensive F-18s in the 80's. Likewise, flight safety. As an airpower and Air Lift guy though, I can categorically say that complex weapon systems like aircraft should be operated by the Air Force. Tiger and now Apache, particularly. Just like other medium-sized countries, which do not have a helo fleet the size of the USA.

The fact that a country the geographic continental size of Australia does not have AAR helo capability speaks to me of 2 things:
1. our airpower is not joined up b/c of army bastardy
2. RAAF is not a saint in any way (my comments about fast jet centric) and should have invested more resources in all AMG missions including AAR

As I said 'if I was king for a day'. People seem to have ignored my full verse. No offense intended to any army brown jobs. Brother aircrew etc included. However, WRT the army sir's who did the coup: you are indeed Sir(s) wrong/insert stronger language as required.

Fly safe.
So how is the RAN FAA exempt from this train of thought?

Given Abrams, LAND 400, GBAD, C-RAM, long range guided artillery, JTAC, advanced networking, EW and Signals capability, it’s a stretch to argue Army aren’t familiar with operating complex systems…
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Goony likes to harangue Senator Jim Molan on FB and try to convince other his networked PS2 scenario “simulations” somehow matter..

If 4x SU-35’s took off from Townsville and 4x JSF’s took off from Amberley and met in a merge over Gladstone, type rubbish…
...and if the Su35s were carrying (imaginary) L-band anti-stealth radars and ramjet IR guided R77s while supercruising at 60,000ft at Mach 1.8, supported by OTH radars in Indonesia and VHF AESAs in Rockhampton with S400s in Mackay..? Yep, sounds familiar.
 
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ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
So how is the RAN FAA exempt from this train of thought?

Given Abrams, LAND 400, GBAD, C-RAM, long range guided artillery, JTAC, advanced networking, EW and Signals capability, it’s a stretch to argue Army aren’t familiar with operating complex systems…
I hope it’s changed from my day but I can recall many times when combined anti submarine exercises (CASEX) were scheduled in the EAEXA (off Jervis Bay) over the weekend when, unfortunately, P3’s went down U/S only to recover on Monday am.
You ask about the FAA; I can honestly say I never had a weekend serial cancelled because either a Wessex 31B/Seaking or S2Tracker out of Nowra failed. The FAA were used to being posted to sea.
Meanwhile, various escorts and SSKs were rolling around in the roughers doing their thing without the light Blue and patiently waiting for that miraculous recovery on Monday morning
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
So how is the RAN FAA exempt from this train of thought?

Given Abrams, LAND 400, GBAD, C-RAM, long range guided artillery, JTAC, advanced networking, EW and Signals capability, it’s a stretch to argue Army aren’t familiar with operating complex systems…
They young Soldiers joining the Army today are as a rule a lot smarter and far better educated then their Fathers and Grandfathers where, using complex Computer systems are second nature to them. The days of guys joining the Army having left School after 8th Grade are long gone.
 

rand0m

Member
As for self protection, I'd argue that many other ADF assets (Arafura class for example) should have better self protection measures.
What do you think these vessels are going to doing exactly?

I'd really hope the 40mm, .50 cals and small arms would suffice against illegal fishing vessels...
 

Pusser01

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I hope it’s changed from my day but I can recall many times when combined anti submarine exercises (CASEX) were scheduled in the EAEXA (off Jervis Bay) over the weekend when, unfortunately, P3’s went down U/S only to recover on Monday am.
You ask about the FAA; I can honestly say I never had a weekend serial cancelled because either a Wessex 31B/Seaking or S2Tracker out of Nowra failed. The FAA were used to being posted to sea.
Meanwhile, various escorts and SSKs were rolling around in the roughers doing their thing without the light Blue and patiently waiting for that miraculous recovery on Monday morning
We used to have a saying in the ops room during the mid-2000's that RAAF stood for Rarely Airborne After Four :)
 

hairyman

Active Member
If we are having trouble replacing the Caribou, why dont we go back to the drawing board and build something ourselves. maybe like a bigger Nomad.
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
Oh, I don't know. @Gooey's comments weren't a dig or criticism. It could be worth an actual first principles assessment / thought exercise.

So, why should the helicopters stay with Army?

Anecdotes from the 60s - 00s don't count :D But what are the advantages of transferring them back and do they outweigh the current system?

We are more joint than almost any other nation and you don't need to 'own' the asset to use it. We struggle to drum this through the COs of Inf Bns, but that is the reality. Army isn't that good with tech stuff yet (some elements are, but the majority are still in pre-Vietnam mindsets) and there have been constant tensions between senior elements of Army over airworthiness, fleet management and use. It provides another means of curtailing the 'pointy grey' mafia and it frees up (some) funding and (some) workforce and (lots) of focus for Army.

So why not cut 1, 5 and 6 Avn back to the RAAF as another FEG?
 
Off-topic discussion coupled with poor behaviour
What do you think these vessels are going to doing exactly?

I'd really hope the 40mm, .50 cals and small arms would suffice against illegal fishing vessels...
Your kidding yourself if you think that's all these ships will be dealing with. Better to sort it out sooner rather than later. But hey, thats just my opinion.
 
Probably commonplace, but it happened to me when the UH1 supporting us had a sudden tasking that involved leaving Puckapunyal and heading back to Melbourne early on a Wednesday afternoon with RAAF and Army passengers already dressed to play Aussie Rules in the Services comp.

I'd have been okay with it if it was Rugby. And if my detachment wasn't expecting resupply.

oldsig
I remember 1RAR picking up a guy (massive Fijian) via helo from high range for Thursday arvo sporto...
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
It’s more than 15 years since rotary wing aviation, both Army and Navy was part of the Aerospace Systems Division with all the fixed wing assets, under an Air Vice Marshal. We saw ourselves very much as the poor relations, although to be fair while we had a lot of common issues between us there was not all that much, other than the airworthiness regime and management of technical data, in common with the fixed wing types, so to some extent the lack of understanding of our problems and the focus on the other areas was understandable. However, it resulted in the formation of Helo Systems Division under a Major General (Tony Fraser). Our problems didn’t go away at that point, but at least we had a champion who both understood and had empathy with us. And, although it might be difficult to perceive, things, at least for Naval aviation, did begin to improve.
 
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south

Active Member
The intent is to show that problems are not service specific, handing the helicopters to the RAAF would not have affected the outcome of the Taipan MRH-90

Remember at one time the Government put the CH-47 out to pasture as a cost saving measure should that then reflect badly on Army should the SeaSprite affair reflect badly on RAN mmm
Equally, there is no evidence to support that the RAAF would not have made a better fist of it. I'd wager that the RAAF wouldn't have underestimated to as great a level the relative leap in complexity of the airframe (something that @Takao has posted has been a factor in Army bringing Tiger into service, along with other Army cultural 'perspectives' on aircraft;). Would this have resulted in better serviceability? impossible to say.

If we want to go back far enough, the Army Air Corps was doing just fine without a RAAF at all… ;)
I think you mean the Australian Flying Corps, old boy. The Army Air Corps being the US Army transition to the USAF and all...

I seem to recall a post here on DT about back in the days of RAAF control, of an army unit unable to get UH1s to train on because they were tasked to fly the RAAF rugby team to a match.
I'm confident that any service can provide examples of other services lack of understanding/flexibility/common sense etc... ;)

I think that where possible each service is better off operating their own equipment. As soon as you find yourself in a situation where you are dependent on co-operation with another service you have to deal with another layer of bureaucracy, different agendas and conflicts of interest. Part of me thinks that one of the problems with the C-27A is that the air force might not be that invested in the battlefield lifter role.
I'll answer more of this below. I posit that you are incorrect, by the way, on RAAF battlefield lifter roles. As an example refer to the Plan Jericho Program of Work for Air Land Integration, or examine the efforts made by the RAAF to improve the situational awareness, survivability and utility of C-130J via litening pod, external tanks, LAIRCM and streaming satcom,

We are more joint than almost any other nation and you don't need to 'own' the asset to use it. We struggle to drum this through the COs of Inf Bns, but that is the reality. Army isn't that good with tech stuff yet (some elements are, but the majority are still in pre-Vietnam mindsets) and there have been constant tensions between senior elements of Army over airworthiness, fleet management and use.
To unpack this a little. Does it really matter; no. Does the Air Force have better structure for support of Aviation Assets? Arguably yes. Can a RAAF pilot/maintainer understand what the person on the ground needs? Absolutely. I'd challenge anyone who has watched Grunts in the Sky to argue that an Air Force unit doesn't believe in supporting the man on the ground.

There is another thread on here in the Strategy and Tactics about 'Overlapping Capabilities'. Ultimately, to me, it doesn't matter, for example; if the USAF and USN both operate similar fighters. Whats going to happen is Asset X is force assigned to Commander Y. Old mate (or love) then gets to decide how they want to employ it, with the help of their joint stafff. Air Assets, being high demand, low density, will be pooled, and then allocated, typically via an Air Tasking Order, to achieve best . Helo's are typically slightly different, but broadly speaking the same. If an Army unit is very lucky, they may be given opcon of assets, particularly if they are the main effort. But a lot of people are going to be disappointed if they assume that the Army Helo will be supporting them, because they are Army. By the same token, if someone can point out to me that the RAF Chinook fleet were terrible, hopeless, out of touch, in Afghanistan, because they were RAF, not Army, I'll buy them a beer.
 
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jack412

Member
Below are two documents from airpower Australia. The articles point out the niche capabilities of the Caribou. The one thing I didn't know was the engines were its archilles heal. They were 1940's technology and difficult to maintain.

Chris73 post 7,582 about Chinook operational cost are confirmed in DT-Turbo_Caribou. Like the DC3 the Caribou is economic, unique and irreplaceable.

Interesting that the C27 lacks STOL and have the field deployment charactistics of a Herc. In other words it wasn't destine to do the Caribou unique role.

The articles go through various replacement options from C27 to MV-22 Osprey to balloons. If your interested in this subject I recommend the read.

Regards
DD
You may have noticed, somewhat of a disregard for APA :) The articles you linked were written by Abraham Gubler and John Armstrong. As far as I know, neither are part of the APA clown club. It looks as if they were taken from Armstrong's DefenceTODAY magazine and just posted on APA. Just be careful what you consume on APA, a lot is on the fringe.
 
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