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

ngatimozart

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Interesting article from the Williams Foundation on RAAF airbases and their location. The article author or whoever came up with the diagram in the article sure likes their CCR :D because nothing like a bit of Suzy Q. It's well worth taking the time to read.

 
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StingrayOZ

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Staff member
What is the advantage of the arrestor system?
Does this mean a SH could use shorter runways? Or are they more generally take off limited anyway?
 

BigM60

Member
What is the advantage of the arrestor system?
Does this mean a SH could use shorter runways? Or are they more generally take off limited anyway?
All fast jet bases have arrestor systems installed for safety reasons. This is a deployable system but there is no tactical advantage in operating one apart from the ability to safely recover aircraft that have issues that would prohibit them landing within the normal runway length.
 

Milne Bay

Active Member
Portable runway arrestor systems aren’t new or novel.

RF-111C, A8-143, 18th July 2006.

The belly landing is at approx 5.30 mark:

I remember this incident.
I have sometimes wondered if that F-111 was repaired and returned to service.
MB

PS - never mind - a quick check shows that it was retired.
 

StingrayOZ

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Staff member
This is a deployable system but there is no tactical advantage in operating one apart from the ability to safely recover aircraft that have issues that would prohibit them landing within the normal runway length.
So deployable at Runways that aren't normally used for fast jets?

Something like perhaps Christmas Island or Manus Momote? Say if a refueling attempt fails or similar?
 

BigM60

Member
Apologies Stingray OZ that I didn't include your post in this reply. You are thinking for a diversionary airfield? A runway life boat between the base and the area of operations with a small detachment to maintain it might have some merit. Every aircraft would count in a conflict. Having said it has no tactical advantage, it does provide the capability to recover damaged aircraft that might otherwise over run the strip or have the pilot eject. That provides an advantage. USMC has used these systems and catapults with A4's at land bases during the Vietnam war but the concept never took off past that period.

For the RAAF and other expeditionary air forces, it's just part of the kit they need to safely deploy fast jets at a bare base.
 
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south

Active Member
Apologies Stingray OZ that I didn't include your post in this reply. You are thinking for a diversionary airfield? A runway life boat between the base and the area of operations with a small detachment to maintain it might have some merit. Every aircraft would count in a conflict. Having said it has no tactical advantage, it does provide the capability to recover damaged aircraft that might otherwise over run the strip or have the pilot eject. That provides an advantage. USMC has used these systems and catapults with A4's at land bases during the Vietnam war but the concept never took off past that period.

For the RAAF and other expeditionary air forces, it's just part of the kit they need to safely deploy fast jets at a bare base.
The marines are experimenting with the idea for F-35C of using cable arrest in the Pacific to increase available runway options (for strategic surprise/increased survivability purposes) in what they are calling Expeditionary Advanced Base Options.
 

ngatimozart

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The marines are experimenting with the idea for F-35C of using cable arrest in the Pacific to increase available runway options (for strategic surprise/increased survivability purposes) in what they are calling Expeditionary Advanced Base Options.
The RAAF may have problems doing that with the hook on their F-35A because the hook most likely isn't engineered for repeated arrests. However whilst they are investigating a possible fix, it is definitely something that they should be able to do with their Shornets if they so desired. They have the Hercs and if they wanted to, they could invest in some KC-130J which is how I believe that the USMC undertake their hot refuelling on the ground.

It's not a silly idea at all and the USMC 2 star is correct in his comment where he said that when he wants a new idea he looks to history. WRT future near peer war in the Indo-Pacific, WW2 Pacific Theatre of Operations is a really good guide. The technology has changed, but the geography hasn't.
 

south

Active Member
The RAAF may have problems doing that with the hook on their F-35A because the hook most likely isn't engineered for repeated arrests. However whilst they are investigating a possible fix, it is definitely something that they should be able to do with their Shornets if they so desired. They have the Hercs and if they wanted to, they could invest in some KC-130J which is how I believe that the USMC undertake their hot refuelling on the ground.

It's not a silly idea at all and the USMC 2 star is correct in his comment where he said that when he wants a new idea he looks to history. WRT future near peer war in the Indo-Pacific, WW2 Pacific Theatre of Operations is a really good guide. The technology has changed, but the geography hasn't.
The F-35A, like you say, is not suitable. The hook is emergency only. I don’t believe there is any effort to redesign the hook, although it’s probably not impossible; you would end up with something looking like the fairing under the back end of the C.

The secondary issue with the A is increased landing speeds compared to rhe C; the C has much larger wing area and larger rear surfaces as well. Depending on the amount of kinetic energy the cable needs to stop there may be limitations to what the system can handle.

Edit to add: many short fields are not engineered to take the weight and tyre pressure of fighter aircraft, or with parking surfaces to take day 2x C-130 and a group of Fighters. This needs to be taken into account in airfield selection.

The last problem which only really occurs with larger numbers of aircraft is how many jets can you cycle through the cable and in what timeframe. The slower landing rate will result in increased holding fuel? At what point does this become limiting.

Feasible, but not trialed, for RAAF F/A-18 and E/A-18.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
The marines are experimenting with the idea for F-35C of using cable arrest in the Pacific to increase available runway options (for strategic surprise/increased survivability purposes) in what they are calling Expeditionary Advanced Base Options.
I wonder if the RAAF has ever given any thought acquiring the F35C?

it has a stronger undercarriage and arrester hook. It also has slightly better range. It would probably be a better option for bare base operations in Australia’s north.
 

t68

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the RAAF has ever given any thought acquiring the F35C?

it has a stronger undercarriage and arrester hook. It also has slightly better range. It would probably be a better option for bare base operations in Australia’s north.

If my memory serves correct the A has the better high end characteristics due to its higher G rating and also the only model with an internal gun without sacrificing a hard-point for muntions, ECM or perhaps down the track a photo reconnaissances pod
 

south

Active Member
If my memory serves correct the A has the better high end characteristics due to its higher G rating and also the only model with an internal gun without sacrificing a hard-point for muntions, ECM or perhaps down the track a photo reconnaissances pod
The A accelerates better than the C. The Higher G rating for the A is a moot point as it’s not as though the F-35 is a G monster (old URL, but still applies).

But what the A really brings is price. You can almost buy 4 A’s for the price of 3 C’s. When you are saving US$1.2B on acquisition cost (72 airframes x $17M), that is a lot of weapons/fuel/sustainment/infrastructure etc you can buy…
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
If Talisman Sabre is anything to go by than bare base operations are clearly very important.

Actually Australia’s previous wartime experience in this region is a pretty strong indicator of just how important forward bases are.

The Rhinos, Growlers and remaining classic hornets are all well suited to these sorts of operations. The F-35A … not so much.

If the final tranche but of 28 more F-35 goes ahead it could be worth looking at the C model. Particularly if it gives us in opportunity to work beside the US marines.

On one side of the ledger you do have the performance and cost advantages of the F-35A. On the other side you have an aircraft that can better operate out of rough airfields and give you that little bit of extra range. In fact it could give you a lot of extra range if you can deploy it further forward.

it could be worth considering even if you have to sacrifice a few airframes or find some more money.
 

ngatimozart

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The F-35A, like you say, is not suitable. The hook is emergency only. I don’t believe there is any effort to redesign the hook, although it’s probably not impossible; you would end up with something looking like the fairing under the back end of the C.

The secondary issue with the A is increased landing speeds compared to rhe C; the C has much larger wing area and larger rear surfaces as well. Depending on the amount of kinetic energy the cable needs to stop there may be limitations to what the system can handle.

Edit to add: many short fields are not engineered to take the weight and tyre pressure of fighter aircraft, or with parking surfaces to take day 2x C-130 and a group of Fighters. This needs to be taken into account in airfield selection.

The last problem which only really occurs with larger numbers of aircraft is how many jets can you cycle through the cable and in what timeframe. The slower landing rate will result in increased holding fuel? At what point does this become limiting.

Feasible, but not trialed, for RAAF F/A-18 and E/A-18.
Overnight I did think about the problems with the A as the undercart because I thought that it may have to be strengthened. The wing area as well did come into consideration.

The short fields isn't a problem because if you actually look at the USMC approach they use metal mesh to reinforce the surface. Again that comes back to WW2 experience. In this case either the RAAF stands up its own airfield engineering unit or it has an army engineering team trained up and ready to go. Your sortie rate shouldn't be unduly impacted by the wire trapping system. Yes recoveries will take longer but it shouldn't create a major problem.
 
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