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16 septembre 2013 1 16 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Australian Munitions and Diehl to develop new hand grenade

Sep 13, 2013 ASDNews Source : Thales Group


Thales-owned Australian Munitions and German company Diehl have signed an agreement to co-develop an insensitive munitions variant of the Australian in-service fragmentation hand grenade.


Insensitive Munitions (IM) are designed to only detonate when deployed against a target, and will not detonate as a result of mechanical shocks, fire or impact from shrapnel.


The project follows on from work undertaken by Australian Munitions during its rapid development of a blast variant of the current Australian in-service fragmentation grenade to meet an urgent operational requirement in 2011.


Kevin Wall, Australian Munitions Executive General Manager, said: “Dismounted close combat is the right place to start with the introduction of IM products. We have listened carefully to our customers’ requirements, and it is clear that by working with Diehl we can produce a very effective grenade that increases soldier safety and meets the required performance.”


Frank Kienzler, Head of Diehl’s Land Forces Business Unit, said: “We appreciate being able to contribute our many years of experience in developing and producing insensitive ammunition to the corporate cooperation benefiting the Australian Armed Forces. This is a further step in expanding our strategic cooperation between Thales and Diehl.”

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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
New 40mm Ammunition for Australia

Sep 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : ST Kinetics


Australian Munitions and Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (ST Kinetics) have signed an agreement to cooperate in Australia and New Zealand for the development, manufacturing and marketing of ST Kinetics’ world-leading 40mm low velocity, extended range, and air bursting ammunition.


The two companies will focus on making new 40mm capabilities available to the Australian Department of Defence and establishing supply from within Australia. They will also look to introduce an innovative supply chain approach which includes reciprocation of supply.


ST Kinetics designs and manufactures a comprehensive range of 40mm weapons and ammunition, Fire Control Units and ammunition as systems, and has an unrivalled pedigree in this essential battlefield capability. Its innovative 40mm ammunition solutions also include air bursting, camera surveillance and even self-destruct rounds. The company’s 40mm ammunition is currently in service with a number of ABCA (American, British, Canadian, Australian) countries.

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
Beechcraft T-6C at Paris Air Show 2013

Beechcraft T-6C at Paris Air Show 2013

Sept. 11, 2013 by Ellis Taylor – FG


Singapore - BAE Systems has announced that it will team with CAE and Beechcraft to bid for Australia's military pilot training system project.


BAE will lead the consortium, with CAE will providing training, simulation and support services. Beechcraft will provide the T-6C Texan II as the primary trainer aircraft on a non-exclusive basis.


John Quaife, general manager aviation solutions for BAE Systems Australia says that Beechcraft and BAE already work together to deliver pilot training to the US Navy. CAE was also selected by BAE to provide three simulators for the Royal Australian Air Force's Hawk Lead-In Fighter programme.


Since 1992, BAE has operated the Australian Defence Force's Basic Flight Training School (BFTS) at Tamworth, which provides ab intio training and pilot screening for all ADF pilots using a fleet of Pacific Aerospace CT-4B piston trainer aircraft.


"These experiences and our combined track record in military flight training, complex project management and mission systems sustainment mean we can offer the Commonwealth a low risk, value for money solution to train the world's best military aviators at a location of its choosing," says Quaife.


The consortium is the first to announce its teaming arrangements in response to the Australian Department of Defence's Air 5428 project, which seeks to provide a complete pilot training system for all undergraduate pilots across the RAAF, Royal Australian Navy and Army.


Currently, pilots who graduate from BFTS are then posted to the RAAF's No 2 Flight Training School at RAAF Pearce in Western Australia for advanced training on the Pilatus PC-9/A, after which they are then posted to an operational squadron.


Under Air 5428, the respective training aircraft would be replaced by a new integrated training system run by the successful contractor. Australia would also likely acquire the same aircraft for use with the Aircraft Research and Development Unit and Forward Air Control Development Unit of the RAAF.


Lockheed Martin is expected to announce its teaming for the project soon, with industry sources indicating that it is likely to choose the Pilatus PC-21 as its main flying platform and will team with Hawker Pacific for sustainment. The three companies already provide a similar training package for pilots from the Republic of Singapore Air Force at RAAF Pearce under the Basic Wings programme.


Boeing, Thales and Raytheon are also expected to announce partners for their respective bids soon.


The tender will close in February 2014, with selection expected by the end of June 2015. Initial operating capability has been targeted for 2015-17.

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1 septembre 2013 7 01 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Australian MRH90 helicopter aboard HMAS Manoora.: Photo Descon7.

Australian MRH90 helicopter aboard HMAS Manoora.: Photo Descon7.

30 August 2013 army-technology.com


The Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has commissioned the first of two MRH90 full-flight and mission simulators (FFMSs) at the Army Aviation training centre in Oakey, Queensland, Australia.


Manufactured by CAE under a A$180m ($160.8m) contract awarded in December 2007, the simulator is designed to enable both Australian Army and Navy pilots to practice skills in all flight regimes, day or night, by precisely replicating the actual feel of the aircraft in flight.


Defence Materiel Organisation chief executive officer, Warren King, said the flight simulator will contribute to the Australian Defence Forces' (ADF) helicopter capability for many years to come.


''The MRH90 simulator has a cockpit that functions just like that of a real aircraft, and replicates the aircraft's unique instrument display which is projected onto the pilots' visors,'' King said.


Army Aviation training centre commander colonel, David Burke, said the simulator helps instructors to present pilots with a range of operational training scenarios, including flying into remote bush landing sites, flying in formation with other aircraft and being safely exposed to complex emergency situations.


''The majority of basic training will now be conducted in the simulator before pilots get to the real aircraft,'' Burke said.


''The aim of the training is to immerse the pilots in the simulation, so they feel as though they are flying the real aircraft, completing real missions and dealing with real emergencies.''


Manufactured in collaboration with Thales, MRH90 simulator is formally certified to Level D, which represents highest standards of fidelity in the aviation industry.


The second simulator is scheduled to be installed at the main MRH90 operational base in Townsville during 2014.


MRH 90 is a 10t-class medium-lift helicopter designed to conduct troop transport, search and rescue, special operations and counter-terrorism missions in adverse conditions.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) is fired from HMAS Perth photo RAN

Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) is fired from HMAS Perth photo RAN

30 August 2013 Pacific Sentinel


The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) have recently completed the final Operational Acceptance Trial for the Australian-designed Phased Array Radar and Combat Management System upgrades to the ANZAC Class frigate Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) system.
The trial included a number of successful Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) firings from HMAS Perth at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii. During the trials, the ASMD system was challenged by a number of demanding firing scenarios. These included successful missile engagements against multiple sea-skimming targets including, for the first time in the RAN, an engagement by an ESSM against one of the world’s most advanced supersonic targets.
Perth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Lee Goddard, said the firing clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the upgraded ASMD system.
CEA Phased Array Radar (File Photo)
“The targets were detected by the Australian designed and built CEA Phased Array Radar and the missiles were successfully launched and controlled in flight by the ship’s ASMD systems, resulting in the destruction of the targets,” Captain Goddard said.
“This proves the accuracy and precision of the upgraded systems to guide the weapon in a complex warfighting scenario.”
Perth is the first of eight ANZAC Frigates to enter the ASMD upgrade to improve her weapons systems and sensor arrays.
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, said “The ASMD upgrade provides the ANZAC class with a significantly enhanced level of self and local area defence against modern anti-ship missiles. The complexity of the firing scenarios is unsurpassed in the RAN’s history, particularly the successful firings against supersonic targets. The results from this activity are a ringing endorsement of the capability flowing from the ASMD program.”
The RAN and DMO acknowledge that the success of the program has largely been due to the outstanding efforts and collaboration by Navy, the DMO, Canberra-based CEA Technologies, SAAB Systems and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
Imagery of the firing is available HERE
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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:35
Crew flying virtual MRH-90 helicopter in the Air Operations Simulation Centre - DSTO

Crew flying virtual MRH-90 helicopter in the Air Operations Simulation Centre - DSTO

August 29, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued August 28, 2013)


World Class Helicopter Simulator for the ADF


Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation, Warren King, today formally accepted the delivery of the first of two MRH90 helicopter simulators at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey, Queensland.


The simulator allows Army and Navy pilots to practice their skills in all flight regimes, day or night, and accurately reproduces the feel of the aircraft in flight.


Mr King acknowledged the contribution made by DMO, Army, Navy and industry for their contribution in developing and supporting Australian Defence Force (ADF) MRH90 helicopter training.


“This world leading flight simulator will contribute to the ADF’s helicopter capability for many years to come,” Mr King said.


“The MRH90 simulator has a cockpit that functions just like that of a real aircraft, and replicates the aircraft’s unique instrument display that is projected onto the pilots’ visors,” he said.


Commandant of the Army’s Aviation Training Centre Colonel David Burke said the MRH90 simulator was the best he had flown.


“This simulator allows instructors to present pilots with a wide range of operational training scenarios such as flying in to remote bush landing sites, flying in formation with other aircraft, and being safely exposed to complex emergency situations,” Colonel Burke said.


“The majority of basic training will now be conducted in the simulator before pilots get to the real aircraft.


“The aim of the training is to immerse the pilots in the simulation, so they feel as though they are flying the real aircraft, completing real missions and dealing with real emergencies,” he said.


The MRH90 simulator is state of the art, and is fully accredited to meet the highest standards of fidelity, known in the aviation industry as ‘level D’, meaning that an hour in the simulator equates to an hour in the real helicopter.


A second simulator will be installed at the main MRH90 operational base in Townsville during 2014.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 07:35
Northrop Grumman Australia Agrees to Acquire Qantas Group's Defence Services Business

August 28, 2013 GLOBE NEWSWIRE


FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Aug. 28, 2013 – Northrop Grumman Australia Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) to acquire Australia-based Qantas Defence Services Pty Limited (QDS). QDS provides integrated logistics, sustainment and modernization support to Australian government and military customers. The acquisition is subject to various conditions and is expected to close in 2014. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.


"QDS complements our current integrated logistics and modernization efforts and advances our international strategy. We expect QDS will provide an important platform for international growth in our key focus areas of unmanned, C4ISR, cyber, and logistics and modernization," said Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman chairman, chief executive officer and president.


"Northrop Grumman's in-country revenue and footprint are significantly enhanced by the QDS acquisition, underscoring our commitment to the Australian and regional defence markets," said Ian Irving, Northrop Grumman chief executive for Australia.


With more than 300 employees in facilities throughout Australia, QDS provides through life support for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Multi Role Tanker Transport fleet, turn-key operational logistics services for the Australian Government's VIP aircraft, and engine overhaul services for the Orion P-3 and Hawk Lead-in Fighter. In addition, Indonesia recently awarded QDS a contract to refurbish C-130H aircraft. QDS also provides engineering consultancy services to the Royal Australian Navy and other maritime customers.


Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 07:35
An MV-22 Osprey with VMM-265 loads Marine Rotational Force Darwin Marines in preparation for Exercise Koolendong - photo USMC

An MV-22 Osprey with VMM-265 loads Marine Rotational Force Darwin Marines in preparation for Exercise Koolendong - photo USMC

27 August 2013  naval-technology.com


The US Marine Corps (USMC) and Australian Army are preparing to take part in Exercise Koolendong 2013, which is scheduled to begin on 28 August 2013.


Conducted at the Bradshaw Field Training Area south-west of Darwin, the exercise follows the successful completion of Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 and will conclude on 7 September.


During the drill, the US and Australian personnel will conduct a battalion-sized live-fire exercise in a remote training environment.


The drill will involve around 700 Marine Corps personnel from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan, as well as approximately 150 from the Marines currently on a six-month rotation in Darwin.


Around 150 Australian Army from the 5th Battalion in The Royal Australian Regiment based at Robertson Barracks in Darwin will also take part in the exercise.


Conducted in accordance with the defence's strict environmental requirements, the Exercise Koolendong 2013 has been designed to help develop the USMC's knowledge of the Bradshaw Field Training Area for future Marine Corps six-month rotations use.


The manoeuvre will also see participation of ground vehicles including 7t trucks, Humvees, light armoured vehicles and towed artillery as well as Lockheed Martin-built KC-130 Hercules aircraft for external support.


The US 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which operates from the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, will provide a range of capabilities in support of the exercise, which includes Bell Boeing-developed MV-22 Osprey aircraft, Sikorsky-built CH-53 Super Stallions, Bell UH-1Y Huey helicopters and McDonnell Douglas-manufactured AV-8B Harrier aircraft.


Additionally, the exercise will involve McDonnell Douglas-developed FA/18D Hornets, which are currently based at the RAAF Tindal, for the Exercise Southern Frontier.

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 16:35
Think Tank: Canada’s submarines - opportunities for cooperation with Australia

27 August 2013 By David McDonough – Pacific Sentinel


The Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) submarine fleet, consisting of four Victoria-class vessels, has been plagued by numerous problems since their acquisition from Great Britain between 2000 and 2004—including a dent found on HMCS Victoria in 2002, a fire on HMCS Chicoutimi in 2004, damage caused to HMCS Corner Brook in a 2011 accident, and a defect with HMCS Windsor’s diesel engines discovered last year, not to mention a supply-chain that had to be built from scratch. Such problems have sharply curtailed fleet operations, with an Initial Operating Capability only achieved in 2006.
Yet many of these challenges arose from the admittedly under-estimated cost of re-activation and refits rather than fundamental design flaws with the former Upholder-class, as some critics maintain. Importantly, Canada’s undersea fleet will likely achieve an ‘operational steady state’ in two years time. Delays with achieving a full operational capability for submarines is also nothing new—as the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) can attest, given the high costs of refitting its Collins-class submarines’ combat systems and continuing propulsion problems, at a procurement cost that dwarfs what Canada has so far spent on its own fleet.
Canada might even want to think about transferring its remaining Halifax-based submarines to the Pacific, now that it can expect to enjoy a steadily increasing operational submarine capability. With more vessels on hand, Canada would be in a better position to strengthen naval ties with its Australian counterparts. For one, the RCN’s Victoria submarines and the RAN’s Collins submarines have many similar characteristics, including displacement, range, and speed. Both have also been refitted to include more sophisticated combat systems and armaments, such the Mark 48 Mod 7 torpedo—with much of this work designed to ensure continued high-levels of interoperability with US and allied navies.
Yet the RCN and RAN also face obstacles in achieving a full operational capability, which could continue to reduce the operational availability of these vessels. As a consequence, both countries have been unable to maximize the potential utility of these platforms to train their surface fleets in anti-submarine warfare (ASW)—widely regarded as a key capability requirement to retain sea control in the Pacific. Canada could help alleviate this shortage with additional vessels on hand, especially if an arrangement is made to ensure either Collins or Victoria submarines are made available for ASW training. Another important beneficiary would be the US Navy, which does not operate diesel submarines but greatly values using them for ASW training as well.
This hints at other potential avenues for naval cooperation. For instance, Australia lost a key ASW asset after retiring its Sea Kings in 1996, with the RAN having gone more than ’15 years without the ability to conduct dipping sonar operations’, as ASPI’s Andrew Davies notes. Australia will soon acquire an airborne ASW asset with the new Seahawk MH-60R. But given the RAN’s lack of regular exposure, it may be many years before full proficiency in airborne ASW returns. Canada could prove a useful partner to facilitate such training, in so far as the RCN continues to be well versed in conducting such operations with its aging Sea King fleet.
Of course, Canada’s submarine fleet will likely need to be paid off by 2030, at least absent an end of life refit to extend its service by several more years. The same could be said of Australia’s six Collins-class vessels. Yet the RAN has at least moved forward to study extending their lives and replacing them with twelve new submarines, even if there are continuing concerns about the cost of this project and whether a capability gap will arise.
Canada could learn much from this debate. Unlike Australia, it has so far eschewed serious discussion on extending its Victoria submarines’ service life or finding a replacement vessel. Already, to avoid a costly life-extension program or a capability gap, the RCN will need to plan for an off-the-shelf replacement sooner than later.
Canada might also want to take a look at possibly collaborating with Australia in its submarine project, given that both countries have to replace their existing fleets at roughly the same time. Of course, the high expected cost of these vessels represents a significant barrier. Still, collaboration could potentially result in important cost-savings on both sides. Canada also has no history of building submarines, so it’s unlikely to face the kind of political pushback from shipbuilders that greeted rumours about collaborating on the UK’s Global Combat Ship.
It might be tempting to simply forgo this undersea capability and to rely instead on greater number of surface ships by the 2030 timeframe. But the RCN should think twice about divesting its submarine fleet. It takes many years to master the complicated procedures required for ASW, as naval expert Ken Hanson reminds us. Without submarines, the RCN’s will lose its ability to undertake regular training for such vitally important operations—and with that its well-deserved and hard-earned reputation in ASW.
David S. McDonough is a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science, University of British Colombia and a research fellow in the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie University. Image courtesy USN via Wikimedia Commons.

This article first appeared on the ASPI "The Strategist" Blog

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 16:35
Australia PM: Warships Could Be Moved North

Aug. 27, 2013 - By MADELEINE COOREY – Defense News (AFP)


SYDNEY — Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Tuesday that key naval assets could be relocated north to adapt to a changing security landscape and put personnel nearer to their fields of operation.


Rudd, facing national polls on Sept. 7, said moving Sydney Harbour’s Garden Island base to Queensland, in the east, and Western Australia could improve the nation’s ability to sustain operations in the Asia-Pacific.


“Our national security challenges of the future lie to our northeast, to our north, and to our northwest,” the Labor leader said in a foreign policy speech.


“That has been the strategic logic of Australia’s defense policy for the last 30 years. This is a continuum in Australian defense force policy.”


Rudd said the approach underlined Canberra’s enduring interest in regional stability and would better facilitate Australian military responses to humanitarian crises in the Asia-Pacific.


A move would also take defense personnel closer to their fields of activity and at the same time open up Sydney Harbour to the growing cruise ship industry, he said.


Rudd said if re-elected he would establish a future navy taskforce to advise on how best to shift some or all of Garden Island’s Fleet Base East to Queensland and Perth, in Western Australia.


It would also advise on “developing, upgrading or expanding” bases in Darwin in the Northern Territory, and the northern Western Australian town of Broome.


“The government would expect the relocation of fleet elements north and west to be completed by 2030,” Rudd said.


Australia is seen as a critical pillar in the US “pivot” to Asia and Washington’s rebalancing of its military strategy, with hundreds of American Marines already stationed in Darwin.


But the idea of moving the navy’s major base north has not been universally welcomed, with New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell saying it would cost thousands of jobs in his state.


O’Farrell, who crossed paths with the prime minister on the Sydney Harbour foreshore after Rudd’s speech, said his comments had come as a shock.


“A phone call would’ve been nice,” he said to Rudd as they walked past each other.


“We stand to lose 4,000 direct jobs all because we have a federal political leader so spooked by the polls he will do anything, even use defense infrastructure, as a tactic to try and win votes,” O’Farrell said.


Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott, who opinion polls suggest will win the upcoming national election, said he was not against shifting military assets appropriately “over time.”


“What I am against is policy on the run by a desperate government,” Abbott told reporters.


James Brown, a military fellow at the Lowy Institute think-tank, said while Australia’s strategic interests were increasingly to the north and west, it was not necessary to “uproot the entire navy to secure them.”


Brown said positioning new amphibious assault vessels closer to the army units they would embark with would allow them to respond to a crisis 24 hours faster than if there were based in Sydney.


“But the sheer scale of upheaval required to move navy bases, as well as the cost, would outweigh this benefit,” he said, adding that the cost of a new east coast base had been estimated conservatively at Aus $6 billion to $9 billion (US $5 billion to $8 billion).


The Australian Defence Association lobby group said Brisbane, in Queensland, was not a viable option for a major naval base because the city was built on a flood-prone river that opened onto a shallow bay, unlike Sydney’s deep water harbour.

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 16:35
Australia : Sea-riding in the Spanish LHD – a glimpse of what’s to come for Canberra’s crew

26 August 2013 by Pacific Sentinel


As NUSHIP Canberra's personnel step closer to bringing the first Landing Helicopter Dock into service, a massive amount of preparation is underway ranging from the development of standard operating procedures and policies, to ship specific training involving the incorporation of an amphibious and flight capability that has never been seen before in the ADF.
As part of this preparation, 20 Canberra personnel recently travelled to Spain and embarked in the Spanish Armada ship Juan Carlos I to gain experience in operating a ship of the same class. Personnel were selected from all Departments to ensure all aspects of the LHD’s operation could be observed.
CO Canberra, Captain Jonathan Sadleir said the experience was invaluable.
“The introduction of this class of ship into the ADF will dramatically change the way we do business. Being a brand new class of ship for our Navy, this was a unique opportunity for us to observe the way the Spanish operate this type of capability,” he said.


While each Defence Force operates according to their own doctrine, sea riding in Juan Carlos 1 gave the Canberra personnel a close insight into how the major elements of the ship, including the embarked forces, aircraft and landing craft, all operated together.”
Over the period of embarkation, the Canberra personnel maximised every opportunity to discuss, and in some cases test, draft RAN LHD Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with their Spanish counterparts. This process was made all the more meaningful by being onboard the platform itself and most importantly, underway at sea during an amphibious exercise.
The crew observed Exercise MARFIBEX, a five-day low level Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation that involved the Spanish amphibious task group consisting of the LHD, two LPDs, an FFG escort and over 800 Spanish marines. Conducted within the Armada training areas south of Cadiz, it was an impressive sight to observe the landing and recovery of the embarked forces via watercraft and helicopter, with close air support provided by the embarked AV-8 Harriers from above. 
With the ship’s company, a full air wing, and several hundred Marines embarked, along with Midshipman sea-riders from the Spanish Naval Academy onboard for a training cruise, there were well over 1000 people onboard the ship. Under these circumstances, it allowed the Canberra personnel to view all manner of evolutions ranging from slipping and close quarter manoeuvring in harbour using the LHD Azipod System, through to observing the movement and securing of vehicles onto landing craft in the dock. But of equal importance was the need to observe the more mundane routines that support higher end activities like the operation of the garbage compactor - a thousand people make a lot of rubbish!
In summing up how the visit to Spain went, Canberra’s Executive Officer, Commander Jon Earley said the crew of the Juan Carlos I were extremely accommodating in allowing maximum access to all parts of the ship.
“Their honest and frank discussions with us about how they operated their LHD were greatly appreciated and no question was left unanswered. We have indeed learned a substantial amount about our new ship that will certainly help inform the development of our routines and processes.”
Juan Carlos I is the Spanish flag ship, the largest warship Spain has ever had and the first of class for the Strategic Projection Ship or LHD. Based at Rota Naval Base in southern Spain, it has been in commission for three years.
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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 16:30
Australia : HMAS Melbourne sails for Middle East mission

26 August 2013 by Pacific Sentinel


Family and friends joined dignitaries on the wharf at Garden Island, Sydney today to wave goodbye to HMAS Melbourne, as she departed for a tour of duty to the Middle East Area of Operations.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, AM, CSC RAN and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon, bid the Royal Australian Navy Frigate a safe passage as she began a six-month deployment focussed on maritime security and interception operations as part of Operation Slipper.
Commanding Officer HMAS Melbourne, Commander Brian Schlegel, RAN says his ship’s company of 234 are well prepared for the task ahead.
“While it will be tough to be without our loved ones over the Christmas and New Year period, my crew are excited to be doing our part to protect sea lanes for trade while deterring illegal traffic and piracy,” Commander Schlegel said.


“My ship’s company are a well-oiled machine, having put in many hours of rigorous training to ensure we are prepared for all the tasks that we may be asked to complete while assigned as part of multinational Combined Maritime Forces.”
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Barrett thanked the ship’s company and their family and friends for their sacrifices.
“It is never easy to be apart from loved ones, but rest assured HMAS Melbourne is well prepared for this important mission.
“As an island nation, Australia is dependent on the sea for our security and prosperity. While deployed a long way from our shores, you can be assured that every member of Melbourne is playing an important part in protecting our national interests,” Rear Admiral Barrett said.
Operation Slipper is the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, counter smuggling and counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and enhancing regional maritime security.
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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
 RAAF C-130 Hercules (photo thebaseleg)

RAAF C-130 Hercules (photo thebaseleg)

26 Juli 2013 Defense Studies

Today in Perth, Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo and I witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Sale between Australia and Indonesia for five C 130H aircraft and associated equipment.

During my visit to Jakarta in April this year, I confirmed that the Australian Government was willing to sell five C-130H aircraft, along with a simulator and spare parts, to Indonesia at a discounted rate.

This offer was in addition to the four C-130H aircraft that Australia is currently in the process of transferring to Indonesia following discussions between our respective leaders in November 2011.

The sale of a further five C-130H transport aircraft will further enhance Indonesia’s capacity to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crisis.

The Memorandum of Sale was signed by Australia’s Chief of the Defence Force, General Hurley, and Indonesia’s Head of Defence Facilities Agency, Rear Admiral Lubis.

The Memorandum sets out the arrangements for the sale of the five aircraft, simulator and spare parts to Indonesia.

Australia is pleased to continue to assist the development of Indonesia’s airlift capability, which will support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

The sale of these additional aircraft and associated equipment reflects the strength of the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia, and the close ties between the Australian and Indonesian Defence forces.

(Aus DoD)

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 07:35
Australia commissions MRH90 and new squadron

CANBERRA, Australia, July 26 (UPI)


Australia has commissioned the first MRH90 Taipan multirole helicopters and inducted 888 Squadron which will operate the aircraft.


The commissioning took place at Naval Air Station Albatross, near Nowra in New South Wales.


The ceremony at Albatross marks the end of three years of training, testing and trials for the MRH90 Taipan, the Australian version of the medium size twin-engine NHIndustries NH90, a statement from the military procurement agency Defense Materiel Organization said.


NHIndustries is owned by Eurocopter and AgustaWestland.


Commander of the Australian Fleet Rear Adm. Tim Barrett said the navy will use the Taipan for maritime support previously carried out by the retired Sea King helicopter, built by Westland Helicopters.


In September 2011, the DMO announced the Sea Kings would be withdrawn from service in December 2011. Their last flight was Dec. 15, 2011, when three Sea Kings flew over Sydney Harbor and across to Canberra, passing Lake Burley Griffin and the Australian War Memorial before landing at Nowra.


"The commissioning of 808 Squadron is a significant milestone for the navy as we formally welcome into service a new generation, maritime support helicopter that not only replaces the retired Sea Kings, but delivers new capabilities and a capacity to meet emerging requirements in the future," Barrett said.


The 808 Squadron previously existed during the 1950s when it operated fighter aircraft from the carriers Sydney and Melbourne.


"This is a significant day for the men and women of 808 Squadron, who have all worked hard over a long period preparing ourselves, our unit and our aircraft to join the Fleet," Barrett said.


The 808 Squadron is based at the Naval Air Station Albatross and its aircraft will operate from the amphibious and afloat support ships including the Success, Tobruk and Choules.


In the future, these aircraft will also operate from the navy's new 27,000-tonne Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships Canberra and Adelaide.


The army also will use the Taipan which is replacing its Blackhawk helicopters as a battlefield and special operations support helicopter, the DMO said.


In April, Australian and U.S. defense officials announced the joint development of a logistics tracking system for use in naval operations.


The Pacific Radio Frequency Identification System allows faster, more coordinated responses to humanitarian crises and other contingencies while laying the foundation for closer cooperation across the Asia-Pacific region, U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark M. McLeod said.


In an interview with the American Forces Press Service earlier this month, McLeod, senior U.S. Pacific Command logistics director, said the system uses technologies commercial retailers rely on to track goods from the manufacturer to warehouses and into buyers' hands.


The U.S. Defense Department already uses barcode technology to monitor everything from washers to armored vehicles, he said. The new system gives logisticians the ability to track shipments more thoroughly throughout the transportation process and keep tabs on inventory stocks.


McLeod also said the new system supports closer U.S.-Australian interoperability, especially important given a U.S. defense strategy increasingly focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
AUS: Opportunities for Australian industry in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program

12 July 2013 Pacific Sentinel


Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly AM MP today addressed representatives of Australian companies at a Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) industry day outlining the benefits and opportunities associated with the multi-billion dollar program.
The Canberra event was attended by about 100 representatives from Australian industry, US companies involved in the F-35 program and US and Australian Government staff working on industry aspects of the F-35 program.
The Australian companies represented included those presently supplying components and services to the program as well as candidates for future sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force and world-wide F-35 fleet. 
Dr Kelly told the audience the Australian Government is committed to the JSF program, the world’s largest military aerospace program ever undertaken.
“Australian industry is well placed to capitalise on the Government’s investment in the program, winning $329 million in contracts to date,” Dr Kelly said.
Over the past 12 months, the program has seen very steady progress and the production of aircraft is going very smoothly.
Dr Kelly said while Australian companies are currently bidding for work making parts for the construction of F-35 aircraft, in the near future there will be opportunities to bid for work associated with the maintenance and support of the world-wide F-35 fleet.
Dr Kelly congratulated Australian companies who have already secured contracts on the JSF, including Quickstep Technologies, Marand Precision Engineering, Lovitt Technologies, TAE, Ferra Engineering, Levett Engineering and Broens.
“Support provided by the Defence Materiel Organisation’s Industry Support Program, Skilling and Training Programs, as well as the Defence Materials Technology Centre and the Global Supply Chain Program have all helped Australian industry secure work,” Dr Kelly said.
“The ability of Australian companies to be ‘world class’ and cost competitive in high technology aerospace manufacturing processes requires world leading innovation and a highly trained and well managed workforce.”
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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 12:35
Mark 54 Torpedo photo US Navy

Mark 54 Torpedo photo US Navy

Jul 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)


The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on July 1, 2013 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of up to 100 MK 54 All-Up-Round Torpedoes and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $83 million.


The Government of Australia has requested a possible sale of 100 MK 54 All-Up-Round Torpedoes, 13 MK 54 Exercise Sections, 13 MK 54 Exercise Fuel Tanks, 5 Recoverable Exercise Torpedoes, support and test equipment for Maintenance Facility upgrade to MK 695 Mod 1 capability, spare and repair parts, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.


Australia is an important ally in the Western Pacific that contributes significantly to ensuring peace and stability in the region. Australia’s efforts in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations have made a significant impact on regional, political and economic stability and have served U.S. national security interests.


Australia will use the MK 54 torpedo on its MH-60R helicopters and intends to use the torpedo on a planned purchase of the P-8A Increment 2 Maritime Patrol and Response aircraft. Australia, which currently has MK 54 torpedoes in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing these additional torpedoes into its armed forces.


The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.


The principal contractor will be Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Keyport, Washington. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.


Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Australia.


There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.


This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 12:35
US, Australian Joint Forces to Conduct Talisman Saber Exercise

11 July 2013 From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs


PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - More than 27,000 U.S. and Australian personnel will participate in the military training exercise Talisman Saber 2013 in Australia beginning July 15.
The Talisman Saber exercise series is a biennial training event aimed at improving Australian Defence Force (ADF) and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability as a Combined Joint Task Force. The 2013 exercise, which runs through August 5, is designed to enhance collaboration in support of future combined operations, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.
In addition to improving both nations' ability to work bilaterally and multilaterally throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and globally, the exercise also demonstrates the closeness of the Australian and U.S. alliance.


>> In this file photo from Talisman Saber 2011, National Guard Sgt. Bryan Bates, assigned to Charlie Troop (Long Range Surveillance) 1-158 Cavalry, Hagerstown, Md., and Australian Army Reserve Pte. Julohn Wigness, assigned to the North-West Mobile Force pause for a photo. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sebastian McCormack)
Jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and ADF Headquarters Joint Operations Command, Talisman Saber 2013 will incorporate U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, the ADF and other government agencies from each country.
Participation by Australian government entities includes the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Agency for International Development, the Australian Civilian Corps, the Australian Federal Police, and the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence.
U.S. participating agencies include the U.S. Departments of State, Justice and Agriculture, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
<< In this file photo from Talisman Saber 2011, a Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 refuels from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker prior to re-engaging in air-to-air operations. (Australian Defence Force photo)
The exercise will focus on training a Combined Joint Task Force of U.S. and Australian forces in a possible conflict scenario, incorporating interagency participation. U.S. Pacific Command units and Australian forces will conduct land, sea, and air drills throughout the training areas.
Approximately 18,000 U.S. and 9,000 Australian personnel will take part, including ships from the George Washington Carrier Strike Group and Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked, along with a variety of other U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army units working alongside their Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army counterparts.
Exercise locations in Australia include Rockhampton, Enoggera, Amberley, Williamtown, Richmond, the maritime areas of the Coral Sea; and Australian ranges to include Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Townsville Field Training Area. For all aspects of the exercise, there have been extensive consultations between the U.S. military and Australian government agencies to identify effects and minimize harm to the environment.
>> In this file photo from Talisman Saber 2011, U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, Japan, conduct a weapons drill with Australian Defence Force Craftsman Carl Norling, left, and Pvts. James Newton, middle, and Peter Noble, right, all with 6th Aviation Regiment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jerome Reed)
Talisman Saber will also include activities in multiple U.S. locations, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; San Diego; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and Suffolk, Va.
Additional information on the exercise will be available on the U.S. Pacific Fleet website at http://www.cpf.navy.mil/talisman-saber/2013/ as the exercise progresses, and through a link from the Australian Defence Force site at www.defence.gov.au/opEx/exercises/ts13/.
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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 07:35
Boeing Receives Contract to Support Australia's Vigilare System

WILLIAMTOWN, New South Wales, July 11, 2013 – Boeing


Through a five-year, 66.7 million Australian dollar ($60.45 million) contract with the Australian Department of Defence, Boeing [NYSE: BA] will provide enhanced support services for Vigilare, the air defense command and control system that is giving the Australian Defence Force unparalleled ground and airborne situational awareness.


Through remediation of the multiyear performance-based contract, signed on July 1, Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) will provide engineering, maintenance, supply and training services, and system updates.


“This contract provides Defence with more effective and flexible Vigilare support arrangements, enhancing No. 41 Wing operational outcomes while delivering promised savings to the Australian government as part of Defence's Strategic Reform Program,” said Group Captain Dean Overend, Officer Commanding Ground Telecommunication Equipment Systems Program Office.


Since becoming operational in mid-2010, the Boeing-built Vigilare has become the core of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) air defense surveillance network, providing battlespace management that supports operations and training. In near real-time, Vigilare integrates information from many platforms and sensors to support operations at tactical and strategic levels. The system facilitates interaction with assets including the RAAF’s Boeing Airborne Early Warning & Control Wedgetail, Hornet and Super Hornet aircraft, and Royal Australian Navy vessels.


“The contract ensures that this essential air surveillance and battle management system continues to be cost-effectively maintained and relevant to the Australian Defence Force’s requirements, including the need to be interoperable with a wide range of defense and civil systems,” said Bill Madley, BDA general manager for Information & Operational Services.


Vigilare operates from the Northern Regional Operations Centre and Eastern Regional Operations Centre, located at RAAF Bases Tindal, Northern Territory, and Williamtown, New South Wales, respectively.


Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, is a leading Australian aerospace enterprise. With a world-class team of more than 1,300 employees at 15 locations throughout Australia and two international sites, Boeing Defence Australia supports some of the largest and most complex defense projects in Australia.


A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 16:35
Australian Hawk upgrade contract

9 July 2013 baesystems.com


£90 million contract awarded for Australian Hawk upgrades


The Minister for Defence Materiel for the Commonwealth of Australia has awarded a £90m contract to us for the upgrade of their Mk127 Hawk fleet.


Known as Project AIR5438, the upgrade to the Australian Hawk fleet will deliver an enhanced training capability and also encompass the supply of three Full Mission Simulators, RAAF aircrew/groundcrew training and support.


We have been working closely with the Australian Department of Defence to define the scope of the upgrade, leveraging off previous Hawk programs and experience.


The upgrade of the Australian Hawk fleet will ensure its effectiveness into the next decade and provides a solid foundation for the progression of aircrew onto the F/A-18 Classic and Super Hornets and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) when it is introduced into service.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 12:35
Australian MRH90 Taipan helicopters operating at sea. (all photos : RAN)

Australian MRH90 Taipan helicopters operating at sea. (all photos : RAN)

10 July 2013 Defense Studies


The Royal Australian Navy is leading the world in bringing the new MRH90 ‘Taipan’ Multi-Role Helicopter into service at sea.


The Navy’s soon-to-be-commissioned 808 Squadron has been conducting trials, testing, evaluation and training on the MRH90 Taipan helicopter since 2010.


When 808 Squadron’s commanding officer, Commander Charlie Stephenson, travelled to the Netherlands recently to present to 12 other nations currently introducing this variant of the MRH90 - known internationally as the NH90 Troop Transport Helicopter (NH90 TTH) - he left them a little surprised and very impressed by the Royal Australian Navy’s progress to date.


The international forum known as the NH90 User Group provides the opportunity for armed services operating variants of the NH90 to share knowledge, experiences and gain valuable lessons learnt to benefit all members.


“I was invited to present on how the RAN is operating the MRH90 at sea because the RAN is the only service worldwide to be operating the troop transport variant of this aircraft at sea.


Australian Navy Leading the World with MRH90 Helicopter Introduction at Sea

“Australia has flown the second highest number of hours worldwide, with the Italians being just ahead of the ADF, although they have been operating the aircraft for a longer time.


“Most nations were surprised at how advanced we were, with some asking for advice on how we had developed the capability to get to sea.


“It was satisfying to see that our own 808 Squadron is one of the leading units worldwide for the hours flown with this aircraft, particularly at sea.


“Bringing a technologically advanced aircraft into service is no simple task, but 808 Squadron personnel have worked tirelessly, together with Army Aviation and the Defence Materiel Organisation project office, to reach this milestone and I’m very proud to see their efforts being recognised by other militaries around the world,” Commander Stephenson said.


808 Squadron also won the MRH90/NH90 User Group photo competition for a unique and dramatic image of an MRH90 landing at a rock formation in the Moreton National Park south of Nowra.


808 Squadron will commission into the Royal Australian Navy on Thursday 11 July in a naval ceremony at the Naval Air Station, HMAS Albatross near Nowra, NSW.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 07:35
USA: U.S. Ambassador to Australia Visits USS Germantown

10 July 2013 Pacific Sentinel


DARWIN, Australia (NNS) -- United States Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich visited dock-landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) in Darwin, Australia July 5, during a scheduled port visit.
Germantown is in port with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to conduct a bio-security inspection as a precursor to a complex training evolution that combines the Navy and Marine Corps maritime sea-to-shore capabilities with those of the Australian navy; a relationship that serves as a cornerstone of regional stability.
"We've been working closely with Australia for years and maintain a consistent schedule of U.S. and Australian training exercises," said Cmdr. Jason R. Leach, Germantown's commanding officer. "Having the ambassador aboard for a tour really helps our exposure as a strong partner nation with Australia."
Bleich was accompanied by Australian Consul-General Mary Warlick, Consular Chief Nathan Flook, and other members of their staff.
Germantown is on patrol with the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and, with the 31st MEU, is currently conducting routine joint-force operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
The Bonhomme Richard ARG reports to the Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, headquartered in White Beach, Okinawa, Japan.
NOTE: The “Exercise Talisman Saber” Link in the above was added by PacificSentinel for clarity & context.


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5 juillet 2013 5 05 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Raytheon Mk 54 Torpedoes For Australia

04/07/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


The US DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) has advised US Congress of plans to supply Australia with a maximum of 100 Mk 54 torpedoes in a deal valued at $83 million.


The planned Mk 54 LHT (Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo) contract would encompass the weapons themselves, along with 13 mock torpedoes (for training purposes), test and support equipment, training and technical support.


If the deal is approved, the torpedoes will be manufactured by US defence contractor Raytheon.


Australian Mk 54 Torpedoes Sale


In a statement on the proposed Australian Mk 54 torpedoes sale, the DSCA describes Australia as 'an important ally in the Western Pacific that contributes significantly to ensuring peace and stability in the region'. It adds: 'The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.'


It is Australia's intention to fit these torpedoes to its in-service Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, along with its yet-to-be-acquired Boeing P-8A Poseidons.


It now falls to US Congress to consider the proposition and give its approval, all being well.


Raytheon Mk 54 Torpedoes For Australia

Mark 54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo


The Mark 54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo is the product of a Raytheon and US Navy partnership established to produce a Mk 46 and Mk 50 torpedoes replacement.


The Mk 54 combines elements of both its predecessors - namely the Mk 46's power system and the Mk 50's warhead. Development got underway in 1999 and, five years later, the design entered series production.


The Mk 54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo is compatible with the majority of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft and, when deployed on ships, can be launched in two ways: either from vertical launchers or torpedo tubes


Using what Raytheon terms 'sophisticated processing algorithms to analyse the information, edit out false targets or countermeasures, and then pursue identified threats', the Mk 54 is a 'low-cost weapon that meets all performance requirements for littoral warfare'.

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3 juillet 2013 3 03 /07 /juillet /2013 12:35
Le premier MH-60R australien dans les airs – photo Australian MOD

Le premier MH-60R australien dans les airs – photo Australian MOD

03.07.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com


Le premier hélicoptère MH-60R Seahawk Romeo de la Royal Australian Navy a effectué son premier vol d’essai à l’usine de Sikorsky, dans le Connecticut, le 26 juin dernier. L’appareil, immatriculé N48-001, est resté une heure et vingt minutes dans les airs, pour effectuer toute une série de tests tels que la performance des moteurs, l’analyse des vibrations et la navigation.


L’hélicoptère multimissions va à présent être transféré à l’usine de Lockheed Martin d’Owego, afin de procéder à l’intégration de ses systèmes de mission et de ses capteurs. Les deux premiers MH-60R devraient être livrés à la marine australienne en décembre 2013 et seront notamment déployés pour des missions de lutte anti-sous-marine et de lutte anti-surface.


L’Australie s’était décidée pour les MH-60R de Sikorsky en juin 2011, au détriment du NH90 NFH. Le contrat initial portait sur 24 exemplaires, destinés à remplacer les S-70B Seahawk. La vente à l’Australie est la première exportation de l’hélicoptère multimissions. La nouvelle flotte devrait être équipée de torpilles MK54 (Raytheon), de missiles AGM-14 Hellfire (Lockheed Martin) et de mitrailleuses.

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2 juillet 2013 2 02 /07 /juillet /2013 17:35
The future air traffic management platform is expected to provide the next generation of air traffic control to Australian air space. Photo: 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit/© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

The future air traffic management platform is expected to provide the next generation of air traffic control to Australian air space. Photo: 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit/© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

2 July 2013 airforce-technology.com


The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has issued a request for tender (RFT) for an air traffic management (ATM) platform that will be capable of offering the next generation of air traffic control to the national air space.


Issued in collaboration with Airservices Australia, the RFT seeks to implement an unified national solution to help address joint requirements of both the organisations.


The RFT comes as both Airservices' Australian Advanced Air Traffic Control System (TAAATS) and the Australian Defence Air Traffic System (ADATS), which are used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), approach the end of their respective service lives.


Commenting on the system, Airservices chief executive officer Margaret Staib said the future ATM system will be designed to make sure that Australian aviation maintains a leading position in technologically advanced ATM and safety.


''A truly national harmonised ATM platform will remove the inherent limitations from separately managed volumes of airspace and the constraints of operating different systems,'' Staib added.


"Through more flexible use of airspace, it will enable better management and prioritisation of an increasingly complex traffic mix. In an environment of projected growth, it will also allow us to connect the Australian aviation industry to deliver world-best industry performance."


Royal Australian Air Force chief air marshal Geoff Brown said: ''It will reduce overlaps, increase cooperation, improve communication, and deliver better training and expertise across the workforce.''


Both Airservices and the DoD have repeatedly expressed commitments to successful harmonisation of civil and military ATM, which is expected to bring an array of benefits, including enhanced operational efficiencies, seamless systems compatibility, and better investment in personnel and infrastructure.


Serving as the project's lead agency, Airservices will lead the acquisition process for both the company and the DoD.


Scheduled to close on 30 October, the RFI follows an industry request for information (RFI) in April 2010, and industry briefings in December 2011 and 2012 respectively.

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25 juin 2013 2 25 /06 /juin /2013 11:35
Australia: 1000th Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon delivered to Defence

25.06.2013 Pacific Sentinel

Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly AM MP today announced the delivery of the 1000th Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon under Project LAND 121 Phase 3A.
The new G-Wagons, along with Australian-made trailers, are being rolled out to Army and Royal Australian Air Force units as part of LAND 121 ‘Project Overlander’, a $7.5 billion program delivering more than 7500 protected and unprotected vehicles to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) over the next decade.
“The new G-Wagons will help prepare ADF personnel for operations and provide the flexibility to undertake a wide range of tasks in difficult off-road conditions, while ensuring that Australian soldiers are better prepared and equipped,” Dr Kelly said.
The new variants are used as tactical training vehicles and for a wide range of support tasks. 
“G-Wagon variants include utility, ambulance, surveillance and reconnaissance, mobile command post variants, and even a canine variant to transport military working dogs and their handlers,” Dr Kelly said.
Dr Kelly congratulated Mercedes-Benz on the delivery of the first 1000 G-Wagons, adding that the G-Wagon represents a big step forward for the ADF’s tactical training capability.
“Today’s handover of the 1000th G-Wagon represents an important milestone at the Mercedes-Benz facility in Mulgrave, Victoria,” Dr Kelly said.
“At the Mulgrave facility, modules and tray bodies provided by G.H. Varley in Newcastle are integrated with the vehicles and pre-delivery work is undertaken.”
A total of 2146 G-Wagons are being rolled out to ADF units between July 2012 and June 2016.
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