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Air Affairs to provide three Alpha Jets for ADF training

written by | March 2, 2017
Discovery Air Defence Alpha Jets.

Air Affairs Australia and Discovery Air Defence Services (DA) have teamed up to provide three Alpha Jets for Australian Defence Force training.

The pair will deliver the three aircraft under Air Affairs’ existing Jet Air Support contract commencing in the third quarter of 2017, Air Affairs said at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon on Thursday.

“Three fully-crewed and maintained Alpha Jets will be based at RAAF Williamtown to provide ‘red air’ for Royal Australian Air Force training, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training for the Australian Army and anti-surface training for the Royal Australian Navy,” the company said.


“Operations, maintenance and logistics for Alpha Jets in Williamtown and at Albatross Aviation Technology Park (AATP) Nowra will be supported by an integrated Air Affairs and DA Defence team.”

Air Affairs managing director Chris Sievers said: “The capabilities and expertise of both companies will be combined to deliver highly representative threats and training to produce specialist trained and competent RAAF, Army and Navy combat personnel.”

Discovery Air Defence president Paul Bouchard added: “Discovery Air Defence and Air Affairs are proud to be selected by the Australian Government to bring our combined capabilities and experience to improve the operational readiness of the Australian Defence Force.”

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  • Tim


    Who is actually going to fly them? And why do we need to lease Alpha Jets when we already have Hawks that can do the job?

  • Mick181


    The answer to question 1 is in the article. These Aircraft will be used to simulate attacks against ground forces, Naval forces, simulate Air Combat . To help train command & control personnel. We only have 33 Hawks, their primary job is to train Aircrew. Sounds like there is just not enough Hawks to go around or they are just to busy. The people who will fly these would most likely be ex Military employed by Air Affairs.

  • Ben


    That is exactly the sort of training RAAF should be doing. It provides training for the RAAF aircrew as well as the ground and naval forces. Outsourcing this to the private sector is just dumb.

  • TimC69


    Buy 50 T-50’s from Korea and they can double as trainers and be used in the “Aggressor” role…..

    And as far as manning these additional aircraft we seriously need to look at “reservist pilots’ along the lines of the USAF ANG. Ex ADF pilots giving something back and being a “reserve pool” in the event the proverbial hits the “turbofan”.

    PS; Could also be used as a light ground attach platform thus increasing our capabilities.

  • Keith


    Agree this should be done by RAAF pilots as part of their training or by reserve flying squadrons. After all the RNZAF used to do some of it for us when they still had fast jets, for their training benefit as well as ours. If there aren’t enough Hawks, then get some 200s to supplement the 127s so they can be used in actual attack roles as well as training.

  • Grant


    What happened to the four PC-9s painted grey and fitted with smoke grenade dispensers specifically for FAC/JTAC training? The EMB 314 would be even better given the actual weapons load they can carry and the CAS combat record they have in Afghanistan.

    Hawk 200s would be good for anti-surface/aggressor training as well as for a secondary light attack/CAS capability.

  • Mick181


    The RAAF has no requirement for a light attack Aircraft, the Hawk 200 hasn’t been built for 20 years at least. 33 Hawks replaced about 50 Macchis so the aircraft just aren’t available. It’s the same with the PC-21 replacing the PC-9, 49 aircraft replacing 63.
    The RAAF is not getting enough aircraft to be able to do these sort of jobs consistently, you will still have Hornets, F-35s doing this as well. Buy more Hawks? The DWP has the Hawks being replaced early next decade, so we are not going to buy more.
    Trg is evolving, more time in Sims, less time in trg Aircraft and that means less money needing to be spent on buying trg ac and more at the sharp end.

  • Geoffrey


    What Im most interested in is knowing what equipment and sensors are integrated within this legacy platform that will be of benefit to us.

    Which leads to….given threat (known) scenarios out there, what appropriate additional systems have been put in place for training and awareness scenarios.

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