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

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
The classic Hornets may be gone but al least one piece of equipment off them continues to give valuable service to Australia.
 

Lolcake

Member
Do we know who submitted under rfp for Air 6502 p2. Apparently it closed on 3rd of Dec.

Seemingly the patriot was the only choice?

Also Wonder what is being considered for p3.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Australia dumps Taipan fleet.


this might be an opportunity for NZ to pick up some additional aircraft.
It's been all over the Australian Army, ADF, RNZAF, and NZDF threads for the last 24 - 36 hours. Please check the relevant threads before starting a conversation on another thread. FYI the RAAF do not operate the MRH-90, CH-47F, UH-60, or Tiger.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
An article from ADBR talking about the Loyal Wingman and it's digital twin Boeing advances Loyal Wingman development with digital twin | ADBR Sadly only vague references to payloads without any details.
I don’t see that details of payload (sensors and/or weapons) matters one tiny little bit at this stage.

I think it’s all about validating the Loyal Wingman concept, validating the AI, etc, etc.

Once all of that is done, then Government can develop specific requirements with the tech at the heart of the airframes.

We may see a whole range of different sized airframes for a range of different roles.

Get the systems right and everything will follow.
 

cdxbow

Well-Known Member
I don’t see that details of payload (sensors and/or weapons) matters one tiny little bit at this stage.

I think it’s all about validating the Loyal Wingman concept, validating the AI, etc, etc.

Once all of that is done, then Government can develop specific requirements with the tech at the heart of the airframes.

We may see a whole range of different sized airframes for a range of different roles.

Get the systems right and everything will follow.
My own interest, really, Same as I would like to know about the AI platform, the standard sensor suit etc. Separating your systems from your platform does mean it's easier to develop concurrently successfully, which they are doing with the hooter. While I agree the most important parts are around the AI development, I think the payloads are of interest. Will the hooter become a shooter?

Yet another article from ASPI Loyal wingmen could be used to break open enemy defences | The Strategist (aspistrategist.org.au) Again they mention the alleged dual 1.8 m weapon bays.

It's a fascinating project for many reasons. Here is the ADF with a high risk creative project that's tracking well, perfectly pitched to the times and likely to be successful. The same ADF that was unable to acquire a MOTS utility helicopter, a gunship or airlift successfully. Interesting contrast.
 

Gryphinator

Active Member
Screenshot_20220114-140154_Samsung Internet.jpg

Screenshot from A&NZ Defender on the RAAF Herc upgrade. Also mentions the acquisition if 30 more at the bottom. It was mentioned in ADM last month as well.

@Gryphinator Please provide a link to the source for the image. Thanks.
Ngatimozart.
 
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Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Janes are reporting ...on the 28th of October 2021 it seems some of the RAAF P8 Poseidon have been damaged due to a hail storm...

Australian P-8A fleet damaged by hailstorm (janes.com)

If this is the case...i am amazed we are just hearing about it now... I would have imagined that with weather radar someone in the RAAF would have thought ..."ohh no lets fly these new MPA to another base to protect our asset's?"
The RAAFies were very concerned about the damage to their cars and probably didn't notice the aircraft had been dinged too. You have to realise that while undoubtedly important, the P-8s are not as significant as the personal vehicles of the operators and maintainers.

On the bright side though, although there were initially reports that one of the pilots may have had his hair messed up, it fortunately wasn't the case.
 

Gryphinator

Active Member

Stampede

Well-Known Member
View attachment 48782

Screenshot from A&NZ Defender on the RAAF Herc upgrade. Also mentions the acquisition if 30 more at the bottom. It was mentioned in ADM last month as well.

@Gryphinator Please provide a link to the source for the image. Thanks.
Ngatimozart.
These are big numbers.

If the C-27 J is sold off then I could understand a purchase of C130J's.
Their in production and in existing service with the RAAF.
10 to 12 would seem realistic.
An additional 6 KC-130J's would be a plus and have a place, but that's now a total of 18 new aircraft.

Certainly not cheap.

As for 24 plus 6 to add to our existing 12 Herc's, I'd be very surprised.

For these sort of numbers I'd trade off some C130's for a couple of extra KC 30A MRTT aircraft.
Boom not Hose seems to be the future for RAAF refueling..........................................Or are we now talking helicopters!

All sounds very promising, but some clarity from defence or government may be needed before we pop the champagne.

Fingers crossed though


Regards S
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
These are big numbers.

If the C-27 J is sold off then I could understand a purchase of C130J's.
Their in production and in existing service with the RAAF.
10 to 12 would seem realistic.
An additional 6 KC-130J's would be a plus and have a place, but that's now a total of 18 new aircraft.

Certainly not cheap.

As for 24 plus 6 to add to our existing 12 Herc's, I'd be very surprised.

For these sort of numbers I'd trade off some C130's for a couple of extra KC 30A MRTT aircraft.
Boom not Hose seems to be the future for RAAF refueling..........................................Or are we now talking helicopters!

All sounds very promising, but some clarity from defence or government may be needed before we pop the champagne.

Fingers crossed though


Regards S
I think people are getting a little too excited regarding the comment by the LM ‘salesman’, time to take a deep breath.

The current C-130J-30 fleet is good up until the end of the decade (approx 30yr service life), which is timed right for their replacement.

The replacement project doesn’t start for at least another six years, and runs for about a decade.

Eg, the project starts about 2028 and runs until about 2038:


Again, deep breath, chill pill, ok?
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The RAAFies were very concerned about the damage to their cars and probably didn't notice the aircraft had been dinged too. You have to realise that while undoubtedly important, the P-8s are not as significant as the personal vehicles of the operators and maintainers.

On the bright side though, although there were initially reports that one of the pilots may have had his hair messed up, it fortunately wasn't the case.
More importantly the five star hotels weren't affected. :D

Behind a paywall. I've screenshot it for you all. You're welcome.
Thank you.

It is a requirement of the Forum Rules to provide sources and it also protects both you and the Forum from accusations of plagiarism. We are subject to international IP law.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I think people are getting a little too excited regarding the comment by the LM ‘salesman’, time to take a deep breath.

The current C-130J-30 fleet is good up until the end of the decade (approx 30yr service life), which is timed right for their replacement.

The replacement project doesn’t start for at least another six years, and runs for about a decade.

Eg, the project starts about 2028 and runs until about 2038:


Again, deep breath, chill pill, ok?
Don't panic Capt. Mannering Sir.

They might have started it earlier because of the current geostrategic situation. We don't know if they have because of the muzzling of Defence news sources by Minister Dutton. If indeed they have, it will be at early stages. Only time will tell but the RAAF are now short of combat capable tactical airlift because of the restrictions placed on the C-27J. That could also be a contributing factor.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Don't panic Capt. Mannering Sir.

They might have started it earlier because of the current geostrategic situation. We don't know if they have because of the muzzling of Defence news sources by Minister Dutton. If indeed they have, it will be at early stages. Only time will tell but the RAAF are now short of combat capable tactical airlift because of the restrictions placed on the C-27J. That could also be a contributing factor.
I like the Spartan but the second the USAF killed the program we would have been better finding either an FMS alternative (MC-130, MV-22), or something in wider global service hence more supportable, i.e. CN235/295.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Don't panic Capt. Mannering Sir.

They might have started it earlier because of the current geostrategic situation. We don't know if they have because of the muzzling of Defence news sources by Minister Dutton. If indeed they have, it will be at early stages. Only time will tell but the RAAF are now short of combat capable tactical airlift because of the restrictions placed on the C-27J. That could also be a contributing factor.
This is the article from the ADM website that appears to have started the speculation:


People can draw their own conclusions, yes the Government has spoken to “all” relevant manufacturers, not just LM, in seeking information for the “future” replacement of the current C-130J fleet.

I’m not holding my breath that a competition and an order is just around the corner.

The article:


Speaking at the Dubai Air Show in mid-November, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Executive Vice President Greg Ulmer said that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has requested details for the supply of 30 C-130J Hercules.

“They are talking to us about potential for 24 C-130J-30s and six KC-130Js,” Ulmer told overseas journalists.

The C-130J-30s could be seen as a solution to the RAAF’s requirement for a replacement medium airlift capability forecast by the recent Force Structure Plan. The FSP 2020 document allocates up to $13.2 billion to replace the RAAF’s existing 12 C-130J-30 aircraft and expand the fleet under Air 7404, with funding to begin in 2029.

However, Ulmer’s specific mention of six KC-130Js – which are dedicated air-to-air refuelling variants of the Hercules – is interesting. The KC-130J is a tactical tanker, lacking both the speed and fuel offload capability of the RAAF’s current Airbus KC-30A tanker fleet and can also only refuel receivers which are fitted with a probe.

With the retirement of the ‘classic’ Hornet this week (see story elsewhere), the only current ADF aircraft able to refuel from a KC-130J are the RAAF’s F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers.

The largest user of the KC-130J is the US Marine Corps, which conducts AAR operations for vertical lift (MV-22B Osprey and CH-53E Sea Stallion) assets and Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II short-take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighters for expeditionary combat missions.

The Australian Army’s helicopter fleets are not equipped with an AAR probe either and reference to the KC-130J by Ulmer may therefore signal additional ADF acquisition programs.

Speaking to ADM during his From the Source interview in our February issue, Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld may have provided more clues. “Defence provides airlift capacity in response to a range of military and civil requirements,” AIRMSHL Hupfeld said. “Force Structure Plan 2020 has identified a future need for more air lift and more air-to-air refuelling, and subsequently allocated future projects to deliver these capacity increases.”

Despite Ulmer’s comments to international media at a public event, Lockheed Martin did not respond to ADM’s request for an interview to clarify the remarks, instead providing the following statement:

“The RAAF is one of the most active and visible C-130 Hercules operators in the world. From having the distinction of being the first global C-130 operators in 1958 to operating one of the largest C-130J Super Hercules fleets in the world today, RAAF Hercs have long-served Australia in supporting national, regional and global mission requirements. Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with the RAAF in meeting its tactical airlift needs, standing ready to support the RAAF with its current Super Hercules fleet and in meeting future mission requirements. Please contact the RAAF with specific questions regarding its tactical airlift needs.”

For its part Defence said it is talking with a number of manufacturers and decision has not yet been made.

“Defence is currently exploring options to replace the C-130J Hercules which will reach its 30-year life of type in FY 2030/2031,” a Defence spokesperson said.

“As part of this process to inform future fleet planning, Defence has sought information from industry on medium air mobility aircraft options from Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Embraer and Kawasaki.

“The decision on down-scoping options is a government decision. No such decision has been made.”

Interestingly, there was no mention of the KC-130J or AAR capability in Defence’s response, despite ADM’s specific question regarding why the RAAF may be seeking a tactical tanker.

It is also worth noting that both the Airbus A400M and Embraer KC-390 Milennium are also able to perform the AAR role for both fixed and rotary wing receivers. The Royal Malaysian Air Force has in the past deployed one of its A400Ms to Australia to support a deployment of F/A-18D Hornets.

Airbus Defence and Space Head of Military Aircraft Jean-Brice Dumont overnight confirmed discussions with Defence. “Are there discussions with the Australian Government? Of course, yes,” Dumont told ADM.

“Can I be more specific? No. Is the A400M part of the discussions? Yes.”

In a nutshell, if Ulmer’s comments are accurate, it would appear Defence is seeking a tactical AAR capability to support platforms it does not yet have, or is yet to announce. Watch this space.
 
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