Hi Tas,Tasman Quote:
The reported plan to train RAAF pilots to fly Super Hornets from USN carriers is interesting in this regard as it could be a way of developing RAAF interest in operating aircraft at sea. My belief is that there is a place for an RAAF squadron to train like a USMC squadron. If our SH squadron is able to actually deploy from an American carrier on an occasional basis it could pave the way for future F-35B operations from the LHDs, particularly if a third LHD is acquired. At this stage, however, the Defence Minister’s statement that, "There is no plan for RAAF pilots to undertake training in aircraft carrier landings," suggests that the deployment of an FA-18F squadron from a US carrier is a long way away at this stage. Still the plan mentioned in Mark Dodd’s report could be a starting point
I thought that this plan was interesting, but the lack of response to my post had me baffled. Glad I am not on my own here.
I have heard of at least 5 RAAF pilots who were carrier qualified in the mid eighties. They were all on exchange to Navy or Marine units. One of note is the current Acaust, AVM Binskin. He had bit of a head start though as he was a Midshipman on HMAS Melbourne and flew A-4s before the old girl paid off. Another was WCDR Fox former CO of 75SQN who was sadly killed in a mid air collision near Tindal in the late 80's.
I think the "plan" as such will only involve pilots on exchange to USN or USMC units. I am sure the Americans will want to get the most out of the RAAF jocks, they are extremely competent and experienced aviators and not having them available for combat missions off carriers is a waste. I don't ever see a squadron of RAAF super Hornets embarking on a US carrier though. Many reasons for this, not least is the fact that the A/C will be slightly different. The carrier approach systems will be removed (see my last post). As for the catapult bar, lets hope the RAAF learns from previous experience and leaves it well alone this time.
The article has spurred plenty of interest in defence circles, old rivalrys die hard. Plenty of nostalgia about the good old days when we had a carrier and Fleet Air Arm with fast jets and trackers. Plenty of old photos going around, I will post some of them if you like?