A RAAF F-18 breaks away (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)

Australians go advanced with ‘Plan Jericho’

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is working on ways to become one of the most advanced air forces in the world by seeking maximum network integration with Australian army and navy forces. The plan is called ‘Jericho’ and is to be implemented in the next ten years. The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II will no doubt feature prominently in Plan Jericho.

The exciting and ambitious plan was unveiled in Melbourne by Air Force Chief Air Marshal Geoff Brown, who stated that Australia ‘cannot be complacent by thinking that simply having the next generation of aircraft technology will create an advanced air force.’ Instead, full potential will be reached by operating all assets in a fully networked environment.

Modern military aircraft are indeed capable of collecting vast amounts of data, and the value of this data increases exponentially when shared with other aircraft, ground or sea forces.

The first Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II jet arrived at Luke Air Force Base on 18 December 2014. The jet's arrival marks the first international partner F-35 to arrive for training at Luke. (Image © Staff Sgt. Staci Miller / USAF)
Two Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II jets are in the US for training purposes. (Image © Staff Sgt. Staci Miller / USAF)

Key
Pilots from Down Under are currently learning to fly the F-35A at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The sensors of the F-35 will be a key asset of Plan Jericho. Australia has 72 of the highly advanced 5th generation fighter aircraft on order, making it the largest customer after the US.

Currently, the RAAF flies a mix of older F/A-18A/B Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets, with electronic warfare EA-18G Growlers on the way. Also important in the plan will be current Boeing E-7A Wedgetail AWACS aircraft, plus future Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol planes.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

Featured image: Flare! A Boeing F/A-18F tries to satisfy the photographer – or fool an incoming heat seeking missile. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence )

(Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
Another flare, another pose. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
(Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
An E-7 Wedgetail. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
The P-3 Orion is Australia's current maritime patrol aircraft. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
The P-3 Orion is Australia’s current maritime patrol aircraft. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
(Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
The RAAF’s main transport capacity involved the C-17A Globemaster III. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
The Airbus KC-30 supplies air-to-air refueling and additional transport capacity. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
The Airbus KC-30 supplies air-to-air refueling and additional transport capacity. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
More air transport in the shape of a C-130 Hercules. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
More air transport in the shape of a C-130 Hercules. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
(Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
(Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)