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


There is a cost blow out of the 150m runway extension on Cocos by ~$200m.
I guess its a reminder there are no easy solutions. I would guess extensions by more than 150m would become far more expensive. Referring back to discussions 3 pages ago about airfield extensions.
I suspect that the full length of the runway will be strengthened to accommodate the high PCN’s of the P-8’s, E7’s & KC-30’s. The P-3’s had high tyre pressures (190psi) but these newer aircraft will have higher pressure tyres supporting greater weight. The 1,000’ overruns at each end are “full strength“ which the P-3’s used as extra runway when taking off at maximum weight.

The Peregrines will be much lighter but, as they have small high pressure tyres, extra runway strengthening will ensure that they do not cause pavement damage.
 
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StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think it's probably a rather difficult runway to extend. Others may be easier.
I don't think Christmas is easier it has a very sharp drop off, Momote I think was, but we paid the Chinese to do it and it was shallow seas with larger surrounding areas.

Island building isn't cheap particularly at small scale. The Chinese did it. Then they went and built Aircraft carriers. Now they are back island building maybe.
I suspect that the full length of the runway will be strengthened to accommodate the high PCN’s of the P-8’s, E7’s & KC-30’s. The P-3’s had high tyre pressures (190psi) but these aircraft will have higher pressure tyres supporting greater weight. The 1,000’ overruns at each end are “full strength“ which the P-3’s used as extra runway when taking off at maximum weight.

The Peregrines will be much lighter but, as they have small high pressure tyres, extra runway strengthening will ensure that they do not cause pavement damage.
Oh yes, sorry the entire runway is being resurfaced and extended. P8/E7's are much heavier.. But these upgrades are bare minimum stuff. There is no hangar or any significant support upgrades to operate larger aircraft. Being able to operate P8, E7, C130J and MC55A is valuable, but we won't be upgrading them for fighters or larger aircraft. Also to move fuel onto the bases, is often difficult that flying in fuel may be easier and cheaper. So operating KC30 or similar is not going to happen. Ever. P3 are max of 60t and P8 are max of 80t so it is significant. C130 are 80t but I think their surface pressures are much lower. Future aircraft aren't likely to get lighter, so IMO that money will be worthwhile over the next ~50 years.

737 are also useful for moving people, it makes fly in fly out basing etc much easier to support etc.
 

phreeky

Active Member
I don't think Christmas is easier it has a very sharp drop off, Momote I think was, but we paid the Chinese to do it and it was shallow seas with larger surrounding areas.

Island building isn't cheap particularly at small scale. The Chinese did it. Then they went and built Aircraft carriers. Now they are back island building maybe.
Different countries can take significantly different approaches when it comes to consideration for the environment (i.e. impact assessment, mitigating measures). Whether that results in mostly delays, or potentially on methods used for construction and cost impacts, I would not be surprised if the resulting cost impact could be substantial.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Different countries can take significantly different approaches when it comes to consideration for the environment (i.e. impact assessment, mitigating measures). Whether that results in mostly delays, or potentially on methods used for construction and cost impacts, I would not be surprised if the resulting cost impact could be substantial.
Absolutely… the materials for the build (piles, concrete, aggregate salt free sand etc) and the construction equipment (barges, pile drivers etc) will all need to be brought in by sea.

You just need to look at the cost of upgrading the runway to have an idea of the cost (noting I think this is a worthwhile upgrade). The fact that the OPV (and the likes of Ocean Protector and Ocean Shield) can still stage through Cocos make the cost of basing appear unwarranted.

I suggest we go back on topic noting this is the RAAF thread.
 

Tbone

New Member
How many JDAM-ER’s could the B-21 carry?
There is talk about it being to expensive as a strike aircraft for the RAAF but if carrying and delivering JDAM-ER’s surely this would be a cost effective and easily produce stand off munition.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
How many JDAM-ER’s could the B-21 carry?
There is talk about it being to expensive as a strike aircraft for the RAAF but if carrying and delivering JDAM-ER’s surely this would be a cost effective and easily produce stand off munition.
Those who know aren't saying and access to information on that program is very tightly held. Don't bother asking what people either don't know or if they do, aren't saying.

The B-21 is not an option for any non US entities at the moment so don't bother bringing it up in an Australian procurement context. At present it is a fantasy fleet topic and as such isn't applicable.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
How many JDAM-ER’s could the B-21 carry?
There is talk about it being to expensive as a strike aircraft for the RAAF but if carrying and delivering JDAM-ER’s surely this would be a cost effective and easily produce stand off munition.
The JDAM-ER wingkit was designed and trialled in Australia, shown off all around the world and even had some launches from RAAF F/A-18 HUG Bugs in the mid-2000‘s.

The RAAF hasn’t acquired it as a main capability and nor has anyone else…

In fact they have gone and bought a range of different standoff weapons instead.

There might just be something in that…
 

south

Well-Known Member
The JDAM-ER wingkit was designed and trialled in Australia, shown off all around the world and even had some launches from RAAF F/A-18 HUG Bugs in the mid-2000‘s.

The RAAF hasn’t acquired it as a main capability and nor has anyone else…

In fact they have gone and bought a range of different standoff weapons instead.

There might just be something in that…

I’m not so quick to write it off, though it may have missed a window. It was a capability from about 2015 onwards, but only for a few years, and only on Classic Hornet. Let’s not forget that we had more autonomy, and capability for weapons integration with Classic Hornet than we did with Super Hornet and F-35 (where the RAAF are attempting to follow the US roadmaps in ‘Lockstep’).

Lastly, the west has been focused on Counter Insurgency/low threat wars from about 2004 onwards. The requirement for a cheap, plentiful, stand-off weapon in the 500lb class just wasn’t there. Theres definitely a use case for something like this in the future. The only real competition being GBU-39, which has pro’s and cons in comparison - in particular warhead size.
 

Hoffy

Member
I went down to Sydney Harbour to watch the RAAF F35A Australia Day "fast jet flyover":

Salute to Australia and fast jet flyover - Australia Day in NSW

Very lame.

After the 21-gun salute we heard the roar of the single jet and a few seconds later the F35 flew over the bridge and then disappeared off to the North.

We all stood there with our ears ringing waiting for it to return for more action... but nothing happened.

Last year the display went for some 10 minutes at least.

Very disappointing.
 

Tbone

New Member
My statement regarding JDAM ER was about how we have and can produce thousands of munitions quickly. These are a cheap low cost manufacturing and with in Australia’s capability to produce now and in mass.
They could be carried by stealth warplanes such as the f35 and potentially at long range by b21’s and have a meaningful punch and very low cost.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
My statement regarding JDAM ER was about how we have and can produce thousands of munitions quickly. These are a cheap low cost manufacturing and with in Australia’s capability to produce now and in mass.
They could be carried by stealth warplanes such as the f35 and potentially at long range by b21’s and have a meaningful punch and very low cost.
It’s not integrated on any of those aircraft as South alluded to, nor has RAAF sought to integrate the weapon onto anything beyond it’s classic Hornets which have now retired. You don’t have to read widely to realise how costly weapons integration programs are and RAAF currently has plenty of them…

For standoff weapons effects RAAF has already acquired SDB 1, will be acquiring SDB II, AGM-154C JSOW and various missile systems (LRASM, JASSM-ER, AARGM etc).

JDAM-ER might be a capable weapon, but the reality is that RAAF haven’t shown any interest beyond limited employment on the classic Hornets.

And no-one else has shown any interest at all...
 
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ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I’m not so quick to write it off, though it may have missed a window. It was a capability from about 2015 onwards, but only for a few years, and only on Classic Hornet. Let’s not forget that we had more autonomy, and capability for weapons integration with Classic Hornet than we did with Super Hornet and F-35 (where the RAAF are attempting to follow the US roadmaps in ‘Lockstep’).

Lastly, the west has been focused on Counter Insurgency/low threat wars from about 2004 onwards. The requirement for a cheap, plentiful, stand-off weapon in the 500lb class just wasn’t there. Theres definitely a use case for something like this in the future. The only real competition being GBU-39, which has pro’s and cons in comparison - in particular warhead size.
Yep remember it well and attended a briefing on it at Avalon at the time. I guess RAAF figures it has enough on it’s plate at present with it’s rather large and varied weapons integration programs it already has…
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Lastly, the west has been focused on Counter Insurgency/low threat wars from about 2004 onwards. The requirement for a cheap, plentiful, stand-off weapon in the 500lb class just wasn’t there. Theres definitely a use case for something like this in the future. The only real competition being GBU-39, which has pro’s and cons in comparison - in particular warhead size.
The RAF's had 500lb Paveway IV for quite a while, but I'm not sure that it's cheap. Was on Tornado, now on Typhoon. Made by Raytheon UK. Seems to be the RAF's weapon of choice for quite a wide range of targets.
First multiple release of Paveway IV from an RAF Typhoon is a success
Raytheon: Raytheon UK to deliver additional Paveway™ IVs to UK MOD - Dec 4, 2012

And there's the 250 kg version of AASM, though again it may not qualify as cheap. It's also been around for quite a long time.
https://www.mbda-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/aasm_ds.pdf
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
I went down to Sydney Harbour to watch the RAAF F35A Australia Day "fast jet flyover":

Salute to Australia and fast jet flyover - Australia Day in NSW

Very lame.

After the 21-gun salute we heard the roar of the single jet and a few seconds later the F35 flew over the bridge and then disappeared off to the North.

We all stood there with our ears ringing waiting for it to return for more action... but nothing happened.

Last year the display went for some 10 minutes at least.

Very disappointing.
Agreed. Both my young daughters (who get very excited about anything aerospace related) were very disappointed.

Presumably the woke brigade has decided that you're not allowed to have fun on Australia Day anymore.

Aside from being awesome, these events are critical in attracting the attention of youngsters who might consider a career in the RAAF one day. If there is a cost element to the decision, it's penny wise and pound foolish I say.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Agreed. Both my young daughters (who get very excited about anything aerospace related) were very disappointed.

Presumably the woke brigade has decided that you're not allowed to have fun on Australia Day anymore.

Aside from being awesome, these events are critical in attracting the attention of youngsters who might consider a career in the RAAF one day. If there is a cost element to the decision, it's penny wise and pound foolish I say.
Or alternatively cost, availability or a multitude of other factors that have nothing to do with "woke".

Maybe even a lack of planning.

"Woke" is actually a reference to being awake to institutionalised racism that has expanded over the years to include being aware of other things, generally accepted, that should be questioned. It's very much a core tennent of centrist, liberal politics and for that matter liberty.

It was also become a catchcry of the extreme outliers in society to the extreme left and extreme right who don't like people thinking, let alone questioning. They label anything they disagree with as "woke".

I would rather be "woke" somewhere in the middle of the majority than be a blinkered outlier and believing that being aware of and acknowledging there are problems is a bad thing.
 

Arclighy

Member
Or alternatively cost, availability or a multitude of other factors that have nothing to do with "woke".

Maybe even a lack of planning.

"Woke" is actually a reference to being awake to institutionalised racism that has expanded over the years to include being aware of other things, generally accepted, that should be questioned. It's very much a core tennent of centrist, liberal politics and for that matter liberty.

It was also become a catchcry of the extreme outliers in society to the extreme left and extreme right who don't like people thinking, let alone questioning. They label anything they disagree with as "woke".

I would rather be "woke" somewhere in the middle of the majority than be a blinkered outlier and believing that being aware of and acknowledging there are problems is a bad thing.
Well said Volkodav. The term 'woke' has been hijacked and weaponised. In Melbourne, we had a flyover of six Pilatus PC - 21. I'm not sure if it was the Roulettes, they may have done some acrobatics, but l didn't see any from where l was.
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Well said Volkodav. The term 'woke' has been hijacked and weaponised. In Melbourne, we had a flyover of six Pilatus PC - 21. I'm not sure if it was the Roulettes, they may have done some acrobatics, but l didn't see any from where l was.
yes but "woke" no longer means that. It now means that a "woke" person, bows to extreame minority views, and political correctness, and general "lets all hold hands and hug,everything will be ok" type people.
the word 'woke" has gone down the same path as the word "gay", which is now very rarely used to describe something or some one who is bright and happy.
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
Or alternatively cost, availability or a multitude of other factors that have nothing to do with "woke".

Maybe even a lack of planning.

"Woke" is actually a reference to being awake to institutionalised racism that has expanded over the years to include being aware of other things, generally accepted, that should be questioned. It's very much a core tennent of centrist, liberal politics and for that matter liberty.

It was also become a catchcry of the extreme outliers in society to the extreme left and extreme right who don't like people thinking, let alone questioning. They label anything they disagree with as "woke".

I would rather be "woke" somewhere in the middle of the majority than be a blinkered outlier and believing that being aware of and acknowledging there are problems is a bad thing.
No objections here. Egalitarianism is one of the core values of Australian culture, and anything that judges people on their cardinal attributes or group identity rather than as an individual is morally wrong and should be opposed. I am also sympathetic to recognising and being sensitive to the historical injustices experienced by all groups living in Australia. And all Australians, regardless of group identity, should as much as possible be given the same opportunities to thrive and advance. And we should take care of those who can't take care of themselves through no fault of their own. These positions are, as you say, absolutely a centrist political view.

What is objectionable and is (or should be) a fringe position is the extension of the dismantling of things that have historically resulted in discrimination against one group into new institutions which discriminate against another group, or provide another group a privileged position. I also reject the assertion that Australia and the West more broadly is fundamentally corrupt and not worth celebrating, which is what has motivated some of the gripes about Australia Day. This is pure garbage. It would not surprise me if this line of thinking is what led to relatively muted government sanctioned Australia Day events.

I suspect we are broadly in the same boat, and perhaps getting caught up in etymology.

But we're a bit off topic here. Sorry mods.
 

south

Well-Known Member
The RAF's had 500lb Paveway IV for quite a while, but I'm not sure that it's cheap. Was on Tornado, now on Typhoon. Made by Raytheon UK. Seems to be the RAF's weapon of choice for quite a wide range of targets.
First multiple release of Paveway IV from an RAF Typhoon is a success
Raytheon: Raytheon UK to deliver additional Paveway™ IVs to UK MOD - Dec 4, 2012

And there's the 250 kg version of AASM, though again it may not qualify as cheap. It's also been around for quite a long time.
https://www.mbda-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/aasm_ds.pdf
I don’t see these weapons as competitors, PW4 is more analogous to JDAM, as it’s employment range is about the same, and certainly won’t provide the same level of stand-off as JDAM-ER/GBU-39 (40+NM). AASM appears to cost 5-10x as much (~$200k+ US).
 

Bob53

Active Member
Just a broad question here….if the RAAF does go ahead with the next order of F35s… taking the numbers to 100 odd. What will that mean for the fleet enablers and the numbers of wedge tails and KC30As? Would an increase in their numbers be required as a consequence?

My logic says if we want extra air frames it’s would be so we could have the option of additional simultaneous and perhaps dispersed flight operations, and that would mean the same for the enablers.
 
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