Tag Archives: Australia

MRH-90 stars in newest Australian military force

The European-made NHIndustries NH90 is the star of the newest military capability of Australia, where the type dubbed MRH-90 Taipan, is a major part of the Amphibious Ready Element (ARE). The expeditionary unit is now prepping for an important series of exercises lasting several months and that will give the ARE operational readiness status by October this year.

Computer generated cut-out of helicopters boarded on the HMAS Canberra (Image © Commonwealth of Australia)
RELATED POST: Meet the future aircraft carrier of Australia
This week crews and support personnel of the Royal Australian Army’s 16th Aviation Brigade were prepping their MRH-90s together with the 2nd Battalion and the Royal Australian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier (landing helicopter dock) HMAS Canberra. Location of the operations: the waters off the North Queensland coast.

The Amphibious Ready Element includes a force of 900 Australian Defence Force and other Government personnel, supported by four MRH-90 helicopters embarked on the Canberra. The Sea Series of exercises will will enable the amphibious force to achieve an interim operational status, meaning limited combat and full humanitarian disaster response capability.

The main goal of the current exercises is to have all units and personnel combined learn how to operate as one force, with focussing on putting ground forces on a beach with both the MRH-90s as well as landing craft and to control a larger area beachhead.

Source: Royal Australian Air Force with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): An Australian Army MRH-90 helicopter lands to pick up passengers at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Hamel 2015 in July (Image © LSIS Helen Frank / HMAS Canberra / Commonwealth of Australia)

A MRH-90 Taipan helicopter as it takes off during First of Class Trials onboard HMAS Canberra in March 2015 (Image © LSIS Helen Frank / HMAS Canberra / Commonwealth of Australia)
A MRH-90 Taipan helicopter as it takes off during First of Class Trials onboard HMAS Canberra in March 2015 (Image © LSIS Helen Frank / HMAS Canberra / Commonwealth of Australia)
An Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan with Navy marking on the boom flies over Shoalwater Bay training area, near Rockhampton, Queensland, with troops from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, onboard during Exercise Blue Dog 2. in May 2015. (Image © CPL Jake Sims / 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit / Commonwealth of Australia)
An Australian MRH-90 Taipan with Navy marking on the boom flies over Shoalwater Bay training area, near Rockhampton, Queensland, with troops from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, onboard during Exercise Blue Dog 2. in May 2015. (Image © CPL Jake Sims / 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit / Commonwealth of Australia)

Australia drops F-35B jump jet plans

Australia has dropped plans to buy Lockheed Martin F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft for its Landing Helicopter Ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, various sources report on Thursday 9 July.

Computer generated cut-out of helicopters boarded on the HMAS Canberra (Image © Commonwealth of Australia)
RELATED STORY:
Meet the future Australian aircraft carrier
Plans to operate the F-35B from both ships first emerged last year and were even confirmed by Defense minister David Johnston. Those plans have now been quietly ditched, the apparent reason being the large number of modifications needed to both brand new ships.

Australia therefore will only operate the standard F-35A variant, of which 72 are on order and two are currently used for training in the US. The first Royal Australian Air Force pilots are learning to fly the F-35A at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A F-35B Lightning II takes off on the flight deck of USS Wasp (LHD-1) during routine daylight operations, a part of Operational Testing 1 on 22 May 2015 (Image © Cpl. Anne Henry / US Marine Corps)

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)