australian aviation logo

ADF uses portable ATM during Talisman Sabre

written by Robert Dougherty | August 4, 2023

The ADF has set up its new portable air traffic management systems during Exercise Talisman Sabre.

The systems allow users to manage and safely support incoming flights when traditional infrastructure does not exist or has been damaged by disaster or warfighting.

This week, Defence confirmed the transportable air operations tower was installed at RAAF Base Curtin by RAAF No. 44 Wing to support complex air operations.

It works by using an approach cell, communications links and support equipment to project air power from remote bases and austere airfields, and significantly can be set up and packed down in just 72 hours.


The Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System is built in Indra, while Rohde & Schwarz Australia built the Royal Australian Air Force Transportable Air Operations Tower.

Air Traffic Control Detachment Commander and RAAF No. 44 squadron leader Vanessa Stothart said No. 44 Wing assigned both an approach and tower service this year, bringing the Curtin’s air traffic control capability closer to what would be provided at an established airfield.

“The equipment for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 has included a new approach service, the Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System, which arrived as part of the first convoy to reach Curtin,” SQNLDR Stothart said.

“This system enables us to provide coverage out to around 100 nautical miles from the airfield, which means we have greater situational awareness of the air space surrounding Curtin.”

The transportable tower provides important, real-time experience for controllers and technicians as it is deployed into a remote environment like RAAF Base Curtin.

“It’s important that our controllers and technicians have the opportunity to exercise this process to ensure that we know our timelines to become operationally ready in a location and start providing air traffic control capability,” SQNLDR Stothart said.

“The team have benefited from the environment and practices here at RAAF Base Curtin, which can be different from the way we operate from our home base locations.”

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.