In a ceremony held at RAAF Amberley, Queensland, the Royal Australian Air Force retired its General Dynamics F-111 fleet on December 2. Affectionately known as the “Pig,” the F-111 served the RAAF from 1973 in the long-range attack and reconnaissance roles. It has been replaced by the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, although the new fleet is not yet operational.
Royal Australian Air Force
Boeing Defence Australia is in the process of installing elements of the Project Vigilare network-centric command and control system (N3CS) at the Royal Australian Air Force base at Williamtown, and has begun to demonstrate the system’s connectivity. The installation program continues throughout this and next year.
The first two Royal Australian Air Force C-17 pilots began training at a new aircrew training system (ATS) facility at RAAF Amberley, Queensland. The air force had previously undertaken its aircrew training in the U.S., and the Australian ATS is the first to be established overseas.
Marshall Aerospace has created an Australian subsidiary to spearhead a drive for more business in the Asia-Pacific region. The British company is best known as a world-leading C-130 airframer and has provided engineering services to support the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130 fleet at Richmond airbase for many years. It is exhibiting at the Singapore Airshow as part of Team Australia (Stand H65).
There can be few finer sights in aviation than a General Dynamics F-111 bomber demonstrating the “dump-and-burn” routine. And here this week enjoy every second of it, for it could well be the last time you have the chance to witness the spectacle. The Royal Australian Air Force is retiring its F-111s in early December, and the Singapore Airshow is the final hurrah for the type outside its homeland.
The movers and shakers of the airpower world were out in force here Saturday for the Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference. Organized by the Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis–the UAE-based think tank–the conference featured presentations from nine air force commanders or their deputies.
Boeing is making the long-delayed delivery of the Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) via the Dubai Airshow this week. The first of the six 737-based aircraft has arrived for display at the static park, where invited visitors will be able to go onboard.
Earlier this month, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet completed a series of risk-reduction tests with an infrared search and track (IRST) system. A Boeing/General Electric/Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control team installed an IRST sensor in the nose of a modified 480-gallon fuel tank for the trials. The sensor was carried on the centreline station during six flights at NAS Patuxent River and four at NAWS China Lake.
The Roulettes display team from Australia is providing a daily example of skilled flying in conditions that are sometimes quite demanding. In a marked contrast to the thunderous roar of the RSAF Black Knights display team, which features the Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter, the turboprop-powered Australian-built Pilatus PC-9A trainers are slower–and quieter.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the first export customer for the latest Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainer, developed to train pilots to front-line fighter level without intermediate training on a jet. Singapore’s new training program also is innovative on another level–under its private-public structure, Lockheed Martin serves as the main contractor, supplying all the infrastructure and leaving only the teaching to the military.
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