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RAAF deploys Wedgetail, C-130J to Nevada for Red Flag

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 31, 2017
Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail (left) and C-130J Hercules on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base during Exercise Red Flag 17-1.
An E-7A Wedgetail and a C-130J Hercules on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base. (Defence)

Royal Australian Air Force personnel have deployed to Nevada with an E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C platform and a C-130J Hercules tactical airlifter for the Red Flag 17-1 exercise.

Alongside counterparts from the US and the UK, about RAAF 200 personnel will support and participate in missions involving up to 100 aircraft, flying over 31,000 square kilometres of desert, Defence stated.

Group Captain Stuart Bellingham, RAAF contingent commander and director of the Exercise Red Flag 17-1 Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, said that the training environment is unmatched in its complexity and realism.

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“Since RAAF personnel first participated in Exercise Red Flag in 1980, this exercise has informed both how we train our people and develop our airpower,” GPCAPT Bellingham said.

“Modern air operations must overcome not only ground and airborne threats, but also attacks in the electronic spectrum and the cyberspace domain. Exercise Red Flag was established by the United States Air Force to provide personnel with an experience of modern combat operations and show them how to overcome the threats they might face.”

An important aspect of the training focuses on personnel that are embedded within the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, with RAAF personnel leading this key command-and-control node, Defence stated; this is significant as it is the first time a coalition nation has performed this role in such an exercise.

Also participating are air battlespace managers from 41 Wing, who will control missions involving up to 100 aircraft at a time, and a combat control team from 4 Squadron that will ensure that aircraft can seamlessly deliver support to ground forces during the exercise, which runs until February 10.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“Australia’s participation in Exercise Red Flag will enable coalition partners to better understand how we operate, and likewise consolidates our strong working relationships,” GPCAPT Bellingham said.

“This exercise is an ideal environment for our personnel to experience how the Growler and F-35A are integrated within a larger mission.”

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

11 Comments

  • MikeofPerth

    says:

    Is anyone else surprised that out of all the future acquisitions outlined in the DWP that there are no plans to acquire any more Wedgetails?

    The RAAF originally ordered 4 with 3 options then took 2 of those options to bring the fleet to 6. I would have thought they would of at least taken the final option to bring the fleet to 7 especially with the platform at FOC and performing well in exercises and in operations.

    Why is this?

  • Paul

    says:

    This will give the RAAF a great opportunity to work with the 5th gen family.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    MoP – The 7th Wedgetail option lapsed when the 5th and 6th aircraft were ordered.

    It would be impossible to get a new build 737-700IGW/BBJ in a similar configuration to that of the RAAF’s Wedgetails as there have been several upgrades to the -700 design since the Wedgetails were built, and the 737MAX is about to replace the NG on the Boeing line.

    Any new build -700 would essentially be an orphan due to its different configuration, and would be an incredibly expensive one-off buy as there are no other Wedgetails/Peace Eagles/Peace Eyes currently in build/development.

  • John N

    says:

    Jasonp (in reply to MoP),

    Agree 100%, I think it would be rather expensive, and impractical, to order that 7th (or even an 8th) E-7A, at this stage for all the reasons you gave.

    But there is also probably a bigger question here now, does the RAAF actually need another E-7A today?

    Yes the E-7A is a great asset, and a lot of potential growth in capabilities in the years ahead too, no argument from me at all, and yes would have been good ‘at the time’ to have procured that 7th airframe.

    If you look at where the RAAF will be by the mid 2020’s or so, it interesting to look at the ‘assets’ that will enter service (or are coming into service or be in service by that time).

    6 E-7A, 7-9 KC-30A, 12-15 P-8A, 7 MQ-4C, 2-5 G550 (EW/ISR/SIGNIT), 12 EA-18G, 72 F-35A and 24 F/A-18F, great platforms individually, but when you ‘integrate’ their respective capabilities, it is pretty impressive, I don’t think we realise how impressive yet either.

    The RAAF’s ‘Plan Jericho’ is an interesting read, see the PDF’s at the links below:

    Williams Foundation:

    http://www.williamsfoundation.org.au/Resources/Documents/LairdPlanJerichoReportSep2015.pdf

    RAAF:

    https://www.airforce.gov.au/docs/Plan-Jericho-Booklet.pdf

    Is the E-7A and important asset and capability for the RAAF? Certainly it is, but again, regardless of a 7th airframe or not, I think when you look at the ‘big picture’ of what all the other assets are going to bring, and how they will all ‘enhance’ the capabilities of the other, well I think things are looking pretty good for the RAAF!!

    Cheers,

    John N

  • Corey Dark

    says:

    With Tump expanding the US Forces and providing additional funds to replace old equipment I’m sure it won’t be too much longer before the USAF will replace their EWACS aircraft with the E-7 Wedgtail based aircraft due to the P-8A and possible the new 737-700 joint starts. Also, they have the 737-700C (c-47 clipper) so the 737 bases AEW&C aircraft be the best bet. Don’t think they’ll go with a 767 as it’s too and with no other aircraft capable of the short narrower runways such as the 707 operates out of the 737-700 is the only aircraft.

  • Mick181

    says:

    Corey i believe the origional USAF plan was to replace the E-3, E-4B, RC-135 & E-8 with one aircraft the 767 based E-10 but i think that has now been shelved and the E-3s will have to soldier on into the 30s. The E-10 would probably have gotten a developed version of the Wedgetail system.

  • Harry

    says:

    I agree with John N and Jason. You guys beat me to the airframe point. If we did want more capability on top of all the assets John N mentioned, I would think a handful of E-2D might be a better consideration. But probably not necessary and then there is the cost to consider. Turkey and SKorea both have 6 or so E-7s but they also have larger airforces.

  • Paul

    says:

    I think another E-7 would not be worth it at this stage,as all our other platforms are coming online.As John has pointed out what the RAAF has and will have very soon will be the most potent small modern Airforce in the world.Something to be very proud of.

  • Derrick

    says:

    Corey dark, currently the jstars program is in development and still a few years away. But with a new administration in the US that wants better value for money and Lockheed in the bad books and the other competitors being based on business jets, it looks like it could to Boeing.
    Boeing did delivered 50 P8 on time and under budget so far and the 737 airframe will have room for future updates and upgrades.

    Mick181 the E3 is the next aircraft to be replaced as the airframes are coming up to their maximum flight hours. The US DOD did mention that all c-135 (707) will need to be replaced in the next 10 to 15 years as most airframe were built in the 70’s and 80’s with some dating back to the early 60’s. And only manufacturer that can supply commercial airplanes and that is American and built in America is Boeing…

  • Paul

    says:

    The Growler wii be such an important asset to the F-35s and AWAC platforms.The qualities of all these platforms will be amazing,and a lot of airforces will be quite envious.Bring it on.

  • Paul

    says:

    I wonder if they are going to report,how well it went with the 35s?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RAAF deploys Wedgetail, C-130J to Nevada for Red Flag

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 31, 2017
Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail (left) and C-130J Hercules on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base during Exercise Red Flag 17-1.
An E-7A Wedgetail and a C-130J Hercules on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base. (Defence)

Royal Australian Air Force personnel have deployed to Nevada with an E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C platform and a C-130J Hercules tactical airlifter for the Red Flag 17-1 exercise.

Alongside counterparts from the US and the UK, about RAAF 200 personnel will support and participate in missions involving up to 100 aircraft, flying over 31,000 square kilometres of desert, Defence stated.

Group Captain Stuart Bellingham, RAAF contingent commander and director of the Exercise Red Flag 17-1 Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, said that the training environment is unmatched in its complexity and realism.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“Since RAAF personnel first participated in Exercise Red Flag in 1980, this exercise has informed both how we train our people and develop our airpower,” GPCAPT Bellingham said.

“Modern air operations must overcome not only ground and airborne threats, but also attacks in the electronic spectrum and the cyberspace domain. Exercise Red Flag was established by the United States Air Force to provide personnel with an experience of modern combat operations and show them how to overcome the threats they might face.”

An important aspect of the training focuses on personnel that are embedded within the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, with RAAF personnel leading this key command-and-control node, Defence stated; this is significant as it is the first time a coalition nation has performed this role in such an exercise.

Also participating are air battlespace managers from 41 Wing, who will control missions involving up to 100 aircraft at a time, and a combat control team from 4 Squadron that will ensure that aircraft can seamlessly deliver support to ground forces during the exercise, which runs until February 10.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“Australia’s participation in Exercise Red Flag will enable coalition partners to better understand how we operate, and likewise consolidates our strong working relationships,” GPCAPT Bellingham said.

“This exercise is an ideal environment for our personnel to experience how the Growler and F-35A are integrated within a larger mission.”

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

11 Comments

  • MikeofPerth

    says:

    Is anyone else surprised that out of all the future acquisitions outlined in the DWP that there are no plans to acquire any more Wedgetails?

    The RAAF originally ordered 4 with 3 options then took 2 of those options to bring the fleet to 6. I would have thought they would of at least taken the final option to bring the fleet to 7 especially with the platform at FOC and performing well in exercises and in operations.

    Why is this?

  • Paul

    says:

    This will give the RAAF a great opportunity to work with the 5th gen family.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    MoP – The 7th Wedgetail option lapsed when the 5th and 6th aircraft were ordered.

    It would be impossible to get a new build 737-700IGW/BBJ in a similar configuration to that of the RAAF’s Wedgetails as there have been several upgrades to the -700 design since the Wedgetails were built, and the 737MAX is about to replace the NG on the Boeing line.

    Any new build -700 would essentially be an orphan due to its different configuration, and would be an incredibly expensive one-off buy as there are no other Wedgetails/Peace Eagles/Peace Eyes currently in build/development.

  • John N

    says:

    Jasonp (in reply to MoP),

    Agree 100%, I think it would be rather expensive, and impractical, to order that 7th (or even an 8th) E-7A, at this stage for all the reasons you gave.

    But there is also probably a bigger question here now, does the RAAF actually need another E-7A today?

    Yes the E-7A is a great asset, and a lot of potential growth in capabilities in the years ahead too, no argument from me at all, and yes would have been good ‘at the time’ to have procured that 7th airframe.

    If you look at where the RAAF will be by the mid 2020’s or so, it interesting to look at the ‘assets’ that will enter service (or are coming into service or be in service by that time).

    6 E-7A, 7-9 KC-30A, 12-15 P-8A, 7 MQ-4C, 2-5 G550 (EW/ISR/SIGNIT), 12 EA-18G, 72 F-35A and 24 F/A-18F, great platforms individually, but when you ‘integrate’ their respective capabilities, it is pretty impressive, I don’t think we realise how impressive yet either.

    The RAAF’s ‘Plan Jericho’ is an interesting read, see the PDF’s at the links below:

    Williams Foundation:

    http://www.williamsfoundation.org.au/Resources/Documents/LairdPlanJerichoReportSep2015.pdf

    RAAF:

    https://www.airforce.gov.au/docs/Plan-Jericho-Booklet.pdf

    Is the E-7A and important asset and capability for the RAAF? Certainly it is, but again, regardless of a 7th airframe or not, I think when you look at the ‘big picture’ of what all the other assets are going to bring, and how they will all ‘enhance’ the capabilities of the other, well I think things are looking pretty good for the RAAF!!

    Cheers,

    John N

  • Corey Dark

    says:

    With Tump expanding the US Forces and providing additional funds to replace old equipment I’m sure it won’t be too much longer before the USAF will replace their EWACS aircraft with the E-7 Wedgtail based aircraft due to the P-8A and possible the new 737-700 joint starts. Also, they have the 737-700C (c-47 clipper) so the 737 bases AEW&C aircraft be the best bet. Don’t think they’ll go with a 767 as it’s too and with no other aircraft capable of the short narrower runways such as the 707 operates out of the 737-700 is the only aircraft.

  • Mick181

    says:

    Corey i believe the origional USAF plan was to replace the E-3, E-4B, RC-135 & E-8 with one aircraft the 767 based E-10 but i think that has now been shelved and the E-3s will have to soldier on into the 30s. The E-10 would probably have gotten a developed version of the Wedgetail system.

  • Harry

    says:

    I agree with John N and Jason. You guys beat me to the airframe point. If we did want more capability on top of all the assets John N mentioned, I would think a handful of E-2D might be a better consideration. But probably not necessary and then there is the cost to consider. Turkey and SKorea both have 6 or so E-7s but they also have larger airforces.

  • Paul

    says:

    I think another E-7 would not be worth it at this stage,as all our other platforms are coming online.As John has pointed out what the RAAF has and will have very soon will be the most potent small modern Airforce in the world.Something to be very proud of.

  • Derrick

    says:

    Corey dark, currently the jstars program is in development and still a few years away. But with a new administration in the US that wants better value for money and Lockheed in the bad books and the other competitors being based on business jets, it looks like it could to Boeing.
    Boeing did delivered 50 P8 on time and under budget so far and the 737 airframe will have room for future updates and upgrades.

    Mick181 the E3 is the next aircraft to be replaced as the airframes are coming up to their maximum flight hours. The US DOD did mention that all c-135 (707) will need to be replaced in the next 10 to 15 years as most airframe were built in the 70’s and 80’s with some dating back to the early 60’s. And only manufacturer that can supply commercial airplanes and that is American and built in America is Boeing…

  • Paul

    says:

    The Growler wii be such an important asset to the F-35s and AWAC platforms.The qualities of all these platforms will be amazing,and a lot of airforces will be quite envious.Bring it on.

  • Paul

    says:

    I wonder if they are going to report,how well it went with the 35s?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RAAF deploys Wedgetail, C-130J to Nevada for Red Flag

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 31, 2017
Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail (left) and C-130J Hercules on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base during Exercise Red Flag 17-1.
An E-7A Wedgetail and a C-130J Hercules on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base. (Defence)

Royal Australian Air Force personnel have deployed to Nevada with an E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C platform and a C-130J Hercules tactical airlifter for the Red Flag 17-1 exercise.

Alongside counterparts from the US and the UK, about RAAF 200 personnel will support and participate in missions involving up to 100 aircraft, flying over 31,000 square kilometres of desert, Defence stated.

Group Captain Stuart Bellingham, RAAF contingent commander and director of the Exercise Red Flag 17-1 Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, said that the training environment is unmatched in its complexity and realism.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“Since RAAF personnel first participated in Exercise Red Flag in 1980, this exercise has informed both how we train our people and develop our airpower,” GPCAPT Bellingham said.

“Modern air operations must overcome not only ground and airborne threats, but also attacks in the electronic spectrum and the cyberspace domain. Exercise Red Flag was established by the United States Air Force to provide personnel with an experience of modern combat operations and show them how to overcome the threats they might face.”

An important aspect of the training focuses on personnel that are embedded within the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, with RAAF personnel leading this key command-and-control node, Defence stated; this is significant as it is the first time a coalition nation has performed this role in such an exercise.

Also participating are air battlespace managers from 41 Wing, who will control missions involving up to 100 aircraft at a time, and a combat control team from 4 Squadron that will ensure that aircraft can seamlessly deliver support to ground forces during the exercise, which runs until February 10.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“Australia’s participation in Exercise Red Flag will enable coalition partners to better understand how we operate, and likewise consolidates our strong working relationships,” GPCAPT Bellingham said.

“This exercise is an ideal environment for our personnel to experience how the Growler and F-35A are integrated within a larger mission.”

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

11 Comments

  • MikeofPerth

    says:

    Is anyone else surprised that out of all the future acquisitions outlined in the DWP that there are no plans to acquire any more Wedgetails?

    The RAAF originally ordered 4 with 3 options then took 2 of those options to bring the fleet to 6. I would have thought they would of at least taken the final option to bring the fleet to 7 especially with the platform at FOC and performing well in exercises and in operations.

    Why is this?

  • Paul

    says:

    This will give the RAAF a great opportunity to work with the 5th gen family.

  • Jasonp

    says:

    MoP – The 7th Wedgetail option lapsed when the 5th and 6th aircraft were ordered.

    It would be impossible to get a new build 737-700IGW/BBJ in a similar configuration to that of the RAAF’s Wedgetails as there have been several upgrades to the -700 design since the Wedgetails were built, and the 737MAX is about to replace the NG on the Boeing line.

    Any new build -700 would essentially be an orphan due to its different configuration, and would be an incredibly expensive one-off buy as there are no other Wedgetails/Peace Eagles/Peace Eyes currently in build/development.

  • John N

    says:

    Jasonp (in reply to MoP),

    Agree 100%, I think it would be rather expensive, and impractical, to order that 7th (or even an 8th) E-7A, at this stage for all the reasons you gave.

    But there is also probably a bigger question here now, does the RAAF actually need another E-7A today?

    Yes the E-7A is a great asset, and a lot of potential growth in capabilities in the years ahead too, no argument from me at all, and yes would have been good ‘at the time’ to have procured that 7th airframe.

    If you look at where the RAAF will be by the mid 2020’s or so, it interesting to look at the ‘assets’ that will enter service (or are coming into service or be in service by that time).

    6 E-7A, 7-9 KC-30A, 12-15 P-8A, 7 MQ-4C, 2-5 G550 (EW/ISR/SIGNIT), 12 EA-18G, 72 F-35A and 24 F/A-18F, great platforms individually, but when you ‘integrate’ their respective capabilities, it is pretty impressive, I don’t think we realise how impressive yet either.

    The RAAF’s ‘Plan Jericho’ is an interesting read, see the PDF’s at the links below:

    Williams Foundation:

    http://www.williamsfoundation.org.au/Resources/Documents/LairdPlanJerichoReportSep2015.pdf

    RAAF:

    https://www.airforce.gov.au/docs/Plan-Jericho-Booklet.pdf

    Is the E-7A and important asset and capability for the RAAF? Certainly it is, but again, regardless of a 7th airframe or not, I think when you look at the ‘big picture’ of what all the other assets are going to bring, and how they will all ‘enhance’ the capabilities of the other, well I think things are looking pretty good for the RAAF!!

    Cheers,

    John N

  • Corey Dark

    says:

    With Tump expanding the US Forces and providing additional funds to replace old equipment I’m sure it won’t be too much longer before the USAF will replace their EWACS aircraft with the E-7 Wedgtail based aircraft due to the P-8A and possible the new 737-700 joint starts. Also, they have the 737-700C (c-47 clipper) so the 737 bases AEW&C aircraft be the best bet. Don’t think they’ll go with a 767 as it’s too and with no other aircraft capable of the short narrower runways such as the 707 operates out of the 737-700 is the only aircraft.

  • Mick181

    says:

    Corey i believe the origional USAF plan was to replace the E-3, E-4B, RC-135 & E-8 with one aircraft the 767 based E-10 but i think that has now been shelved and the E-3s will have to soldier on into the 30s. The E-10 would probably have gotten a developed version of the Wedgetail system.

  • Harry

    says:

    I agree with John N and Jason. You guys beat me to the airframe point. If we did want more capability on top of all the assets John N mentioned, I would think a handful of E-2D might be a better consideration. But probably not necessary and then there is the cost to consider. Turkey and SKorea both have 6 or so E-7s but they also have larger airforces.

  • Paul

    says:

    I think another E-7 would not be worth it at this stage,as all our other platforms are coming online.As John has pointed out what the RAAF has and will have very soon will be the most potent small modern Airforce in the world.Something to be very proud of.

  • Derrick

    says:

    Corey dark, currently the jstars program is in development and still a few years away. But with a new administration in the US that wants better value for money and Lockheed in the bad books and the other competitors being based on business jets, it looks like it could to Boeing.
    Boeing did delivered 50 P8 on time and under budget so far and the 737 airframe will have room for future updates and upgrades.

    Mick181 the E3 is the next aircraft to be replaced as the airframes are coming up to their maximum flight hours. The US DOD did mention that all c-135 (707) will need to be replaced in the next 10 to 15 years as most airframe were built in the 70’s and 80’s with some dating back to the early 60’s. And only manufacturer that can supply commercial airplanes and that is American and built in America is Boeing…

  • Paul

    says:

    The Growler wii be such an important asset to the F-35s and AWAC platforms.The qualities of all these platforms will be amazing,and a lot of airforces will be quite envious.Bring it on.

  • Paul

    says:

    I wonder if they are going to report,how well it went with the 35s?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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