A suite of new capabilities for the Royal Australian Air Force’s C-17A Globemaster heavy transport aircraft have been showcased in Canberra, including the provision of Wi-Fi internet access for portable electronic devices issued by Defence.
The demonstration is part of Plan Jericho, which is the plan to transform the RAAF and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF) into a fighting force that is capable of making the most of the high-tech systems that are due to be introduced over the next few years, Defence stated.
Group Captain Stewart Dowrie, Chief of Staff for Air Mobility Group, stated that the new technology in the Globemaster would enable users to access the latest information when making operational decisions.
“This state-of-the-art technology allows passengers in the aircraft to receive live updates and video of their destination, right up to the point of their arrival,” GPCAPT Dowrie said.
“Beforehand, crews and passengers were mostly limited to voice-only communications.”
The trial builds on previous Plan Jericho demonstrations involving themGlobemaster including capabilities such as the AirView 360 suite, which enables the display of mission-essential information to passengers.
“Our C-17A initiatives for Plan Jericho are capitalising on low-risk, proven technologies that can be delivered quickly with a high degree of confidence by our industry partners,” GPCAPT Dowrie said.
All of the RAAF’s Globemasters are fitted with a satellite communications (SATCOM) capability. Two aircraft have been configured for broadband SATCOM, and it is expected that the whole fleet of eight will be equipped with a new wideband SATCOM system from 2018.
The RAAF’s eighth and last C-17 was delivered to RAAF Base Amberley on November 4.