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

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
There is, or at least was, quite a large bulk fuel storage capacity at Lombrum. If it is still in reasonable nick one of the tanks could take F35 after a clean, and it had reticulation to the wharf for both resupply and provision of fuel to ships (it was once my job to arrange that resupply). Moving fuel from there to Momote would be a reasonably trivial exercise.
Indeed.

lombrum and the other islands is much easier to get fuel to, particularly compared to the highlands. Lombrum also has all its new facilities, a new navy port, a new airport and runway, a new road network, new electricity supply, new water supply, new accommodation.

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Joint Initiative at Lombrum Naval Base (PNG) | Sectors | Department of Defence

The before and after of the Momote airport is really significant, with longer runway, huge apron area, new terminal and facilities. Takes from a WW2 left over to a modern airfield with Australian level of facilities and services.

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It will even have international visa capability for direct international flights.

I suppose it should be stated that its still a civilian airport. I would imagine P8's and E7's could slip in and out, but would unlikely to be "based there". Its not another Butterworth or Tindal. I would imagine any G550 base aircraft could also fly in and out of there as well. I presume C130's, C27J and C17s could fly in and fly out.

It may also be possible to get C-17As in and out of there. If a B737 can operate from there, no reason why a C-17A can't. Use it to lift fuel bladders on pallets in.
Starts getting pretty pricey and strenuous to do that, (obviously the US can do it) and you start flogging a platform running bulk logistics on one the RAAF doesn't really want to have to do that. Particularly if your flying in fuel for a large tanker, you might as well just fly the tanker in and out of else where and refill in the air.. C130 based, or perhaps A400 based aircraft could also operate there. UK is FPDA.

Mt hagen you might have to do that.. Particularly if the roads get cut off. Fuel shortages are a real thing there.


If the UK carrier was operating in and around the region, carrier fighters could be supported with the A400 running out of these smaller airports. UK E7's and P8's could also use the same fields.
At least where I work, Honiara is listed as an option for the Boeing 777 (alternate only).
An interesting idea, not sure how Honiara is in terms of storage and facilities. But if we needed to project further east into the Pacific, the focus would shift. Just as it did shift through WW2.

Solomons however would be a key base if things ever went south on Bougainville. The $250m new patrol boat base in Solomons, is right near it.

However, that area is pretty remote.
The only airfield around there is Ballale (Balalae Island - Wikipedia), a rather cursed place, grass.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@StingrayOZ You are really missing the point about flying in bulk fuel. I suggest that you reread the discussion again and look at the context.

The context is that you can't get a KC-30 in there so you have to move fuel another way. Palletised fuel bladders is one way and they can be moved on the ground using forklifts. Lots of DGs are moved that way. You can also move fuel in a 10,000 lt containerised tank that has the footprint of a 20ft ISO TEU. It weighs about 20 tonnes is 6m x 2.4m x 2.4m and will easily fit inside a C-17 and probably a C-130J-30.
 

DDG38

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
"Royal Australian Air Force Airfield Defence Guards provide aircraft security at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, as Australian citizens and visa holders prepare to be evacuated from Afghanistan." Image source - ADF Image Library
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cdxbow

Well-Known Member
My father died a short time ago, 97 yo, after a short illness. A life well lived. He was a Wireless Operator on a Liberator in the last year of WWII. I found one picture of what I believe to be his aircraft. It was a tiny, faded photo, probably less than an inch and half each side (?a Box Browny pic). It cleaned up pretty well with a bit of digital mojo:

liberator1945.jpg

I was discussing my fathers service with an artist mate, who told me the amazing story of his friend Donald Shanks. He was a Ozzy navigator on Mosquito operating from the UK. He survived 3 crashes. This talks about his escape from France How Australian flight lieutenant avoided capture in WW2 | Daily Mail Online and this talks about another of his crashes Bang! – airscape Magazine. He told my friend he had 'killed 3 pilots' and that French girls were a lot of fun.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Thank you. He was in hospital the week before he died looking at placement in a nursing home. The only thing he ever asked for was NOT to put him in a nursing home, so I am lucky nature intervened and we never had to cross that bridge.
No probs. My mother is 96, lives at home on her own, is somewhat stubborn - oops I mean very independent, and has already layed the law down. My brother and I once mentioned it to her. Wasn't our most intelligent ideas. So he and I have delegated said responsibility to our sister who is a nurse. Self preservation trumps bravery in this case. Mum might be a little lady, but facing really grumpy hungover Sgts Majors is a far safer option.

WRT your Dad's stories, that's not uncommon. I think it's a way of dealing with what they went through and also some people are just pure characters anyway. I had one old cobber who was a RAF medic with the 2TAF and went ashore at Normandy. He got the occasional job that wasn't nice and it was on one such one recovering a deceased pilot from a shot down Typhoon, that after leaving the aircraft an army Sgt said to him and his mate. Are you aware that there's a German minefield here? Harry said that they'd been told about one but they were in a hurry because they didn't want to miss out on lunch. He was 18 then.
 

Bob53

Active Member
Love the Dad stories and sad to hear of your dads passing @cdcbow. Sounds like he had a full and interesting life. Those bloke just plugged on and when there was a problem they just solved it and kept going.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member

The advantage of cruise missiles powered with Scramjets are that they are smaller and lighter than missiles with conventional rocket boosters. They could be operated off smaller aircraft such as F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35As or used as stand-off weapons aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon.

Still sounds like it might be a quite a while before we start to see them in service however with the first demo flights not scheduled till around the mid 20s.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member

The advantage of cruise missiles powered with Scramjets are that they are smaller and lighter than missiles with conventional rocket boosters. They could be operated off smaller aircraft such as F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35As or used as stand-off weapons aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon.

Still sounds like it might be a quite a while before we start to see them in service however with the first demo flights not scheduled till around the mid 20s.
You wouldn't even need a Warhead, the Kinetic damage alone would be horrendous.
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
Only if they hit something solid enough for them to dissipate that energy, otherwise you may just get a neat hole in one side and a similar exit hole it the other.
That would pretty much also depend on the structure of the hyper-sonic vehicle. All things being equal.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This is a very interesting concept with a palletised air dropped weapon system that could be of interest to the RAAF.

That's fine if it's not operating in contested airspace and / or the RAAF has sufficient funds to be able to afford the mass deployment of JASSM-ER or LRASM. They aren't exactly cheap and the RAAF doesn't have the financial resources of the USDOD.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
This is a very interesting concept with a palletised air dropped weapon system that could be of interest to the RAAF.

Not new. Airbus was trying to sell such a concept about 20 years ago, but didn't find any governments or air forces that liked the idea enough to pay for it. It was proposed as suitable for modified airliners (e.g. A340) or unmodified transports with a rear ramp.
 

Depot Dog

Active Member

The advantage of cruise missiles powered with Scramjets are that they are smaller and lighter than missiles with conventional rocket boosters. They could be operated off smaller aircraft such as F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35As or used as stand-off weapons aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon.

Still sounds like it might be a quite a while before we start to see them in service however with the first demo flights not scheduled till around the mid 20s.
I am quite excited about this missile and home grown technology. The development started in the Uni of Queensland many years ago. This was developed from HIFIRE to Hypersonix Spartan and SCIFIRE. Spartan is developing a hypersonic reusuable low orbit satallite launch system. SCIFIRE is the Hypersonic missile.

My concern is this technology going the way of the black box flight recorder. The article said that contracts were awarded to Lockheed and Boeing. We do have companies like Hypersonixs. They do specialise in Hypersonic technology.

My hope is we don't repeat the past and give technology to others with little reward to ourselves.

Regards
DD
 

Geddy

Member
Going at that speed and having to maneuver it certainly not going to be made of tinfoil. The stresses would be a little high for that.
Isn’t it the case that hypersonic missiles need to slow to subsonic speeds to manoeuvre in the terminal guidance stage? I’m sure I’ve read this somewhere. Anyone in the know?
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Isn’t it the case that hypersonic missiles need to slow to subsonic speeds to manoeuvre in the terminal guidance stage? I’m sure I’ve read this somewhere. Anyone in the know?
In short, no. AFAIK the main challenge is the RF blackout that can be caused by the plasma sheath formed around the weapon north of Mach 10. Conventional ballistic missiles deal with this by conducting a slowing pull-up maneuver to enable their onboard (RF?) seekers to function in terminal phase. This would still see them impacting at high supersonic speeds as a minimum though. Modern HCMs and HGVs may need to slow somewhat in terminal phase as well, but it is almost certainly not to the point of going subsonic.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Posted elsewhere already, but some interesting news on Project AIR-6502 Phase 1 (and 3…) came out yesterday as well…

    • After yesterday a sole-source Patriot deal seems likely… (my comment)

      As a reference, Switzerland got 5 Patriot fire units with 17 launchers and an initial supply of GEM-T missiles for $2.2b…

      https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/maj...ts-and-weapons

      Tender documents are up now on Austender…

      https://www.tenders.gov.au/Atm/Show/...8-b5f9e507e68b

      Going through the basic performance specs requested, ADF is looking for deployable MRAD capability capable of addressing aircraft, cruise missile and ballistic missiles at 3 separate locations, plus supporting force generation and sustainment capabilities, so maybe 5-6 fire units in total, with 20-24 launch systems.

      Under AIC they are looking at the opportunity to again integrate CEA AESA radars into the solution, along with passive sensor systems including but not limited to EO/IR, so I’m guessing passive RF detection as well…

      They are looking at options to manufacture locally all or part of the proposed solutions as part of the Sovereign Guided Weapons program.

      Obviously the system has to integrate with the Integrated Air and Missile Defence system to be bought under AIR-6500, the LAND 19 Phase 7B short ranged AS system (NASAMS II) and the future AIR-6502 Phase 3 - ‘High Speed Air and Missile Defence System’ as well as Hobart Class Destroyers, Hunter Class and JSF.

    • Given the ballistic missile requirement, I would think SAMP/T would be struggling… (my comment).
 
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